Making it Modern: Essays on the Art of the Now
Linda Nochlin and Aruna D'Souza
This illustrated, edited collection of essays brings together for the first time some of the pioneering art historian Linda Nochlin’s most important writings on modernism and modernity from across her six-decade career. Before the publication of her seminal tract on feminism in art, ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’, Nochlin had already firmly established herself as a major practitioner of a politically sophisticated and class-conscious social art history, with her writings on modernism being transformative to the discipline.
Nochlin embraced Charles Baudelaire’s conviction that modernity meant to be of one’s time - and that the role of an art historian was to understand the art of the past not only in its own historical context, but according to the urgencies of the contemporary world. From academic debates about the nude in the 18th century to the work of Robert Gober in the 21st, whatever she turned her analytic eye to was very much conceived as the art of the now - the art we need to look at to navigate the complexities and contradictions of the present.
Linda Nochlin (1931–2017) was Lila Acheson Wallace Professor Emerita of Modern Art at New York University Institute of Fine Arts. Her numerous publications include Women, Art and Power, Representing Women and Courbet, as well as the pioneering essay from 1971: ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’. Aruna D’Souza is an editor, writer and curator. Her book Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was named one of the best art books of 2018 by the New York Times.