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Re-Viewing John Sloan's Images of Women

Janice M. Coco
Oxford Art Journal
Vol. 21, No. 2 (1998), pp. 81-97
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1360615
Page Count: 17
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Re-Viewing John Sloan's Images of Women
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Abstract

The American realist artist John Sloan, best known for his urban genre pictures of early twentieth-century New York City, consistently featured women in his paintings and etchings, frequently representing them through the filter of a window. The optimistic tenor of these images, such as "Hairdresser's Window" (1970) and "The Show Case" (1905), masks the reality that the artist generally feared women, despite the fact that he married twice. I will argue that Sloan's perception of women, as potentially threatening to his manhood and his career, manifests itself subtextually in the fetishized nature of his windowed compositions. By this, I mean his recurring window motif, which he used throughout his oeuvre, not only to construct boundaries between himself and a feared other, but to examine the female as an object of fascination and to demarcate the limits between private and public life, as well.

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