Linda Nochlin passed away on October 29th, 2017. She was 86. ARTnews published Nochlin’s essay, “Why have there been no great women artists?” in 1971.
For me, Nochlin was more of an intellectual “grandmother” than mother. I was introduced to Nochlin’s work through an intervening generation of art historians — and so I was also, in rather meaningful ways, a step removed from the urgency of Nochlin’s critique.
Looking back from 2017, I see that it was easier, in the early 2000s, to maintain the illusion of a great distance between Nochlin’s time and mine. Nochlin’s dry rage felt historical then. I am sad to say that it feels current, now. And I see, with a clarity that I lacked then, that we are not yet done with words like liberation.