Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? Linda Nochlin

This question was asked back in 1971, opening up a series of issues concerning art history canons that have been neglecting, marginalizing and ignoring women's voices and positions within the complex art world. The issues are still unresolved, and although the question was raised nearly half a century ago, it is still globally discussed, not only among artists but also among much broader social constellations. Despite major shifts in women's emancipation, and struggles for equality won over the past hundred years, the contemporary society has been repetitively producing norms of patriarchal social and political relations that keep women in unequal economic, educational and cultural positions.

This, of course, is being reflected in contemporary artistic and exhibition practices which remain continuously concerned with the so-called women's issues. It is therefore not at all surprising that the first exhibition of Perceptions project, which opens in the National Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje, is entitled Why Have There Been No Great (Wo)Men Artists? – pointing to the necessity of reconsidering one of the key provocations for understanding not only the art, but also past and present social relations within the region.

By selecting women artists whose works are not part of the National Museum of Montenegro’s collection, its curator Natalija Vujošević problematizes not only issues related to women's artistic positions, but also the very mechanisms of creating the museum’s collection.