Pictures without purpose

13th October 1995 at 01:00
WOMEN ARTISTS Booklet and posters, Pounds 19.99 Folens, Albert House, Apex Business Centre, Boscombe Road, Dunstable LU5 4RL

Women artists are often neglected, so this publication is welcome. Consisting of 12 A3 posters of works by women artists and a pupils' booklet, this pack gives details of each of the paintings and suggests related classroom activities. The reproductions are large enough for groups of students to see at once.

But the issue of gender in art remains disappointingly unaddressed. Why should we consider the sex of an artist? Why are so few female artists recognised? Why did the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot produce so many images of women and children?

Each artist has her own double page of the accompanying booklet, with a time line showing historically important happenings during her lifetime. An activities section has a mix of relevant and rather uninspiring ideas.

As a collection of good-quality posters, with ideas for related project work, this set is adequate but lacks a sense of purpose. There could certainly be some interesting debate about attitudes towards women artists encouraging this could become the key purpose for showing the set of pictures.

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