I have previously objected to the art field being subjected to quota systems from gender-based selection of directors to replacing art on the basis of the race of the artists to replacing even art critics who are the wrong gender. Now the Royal Academy will removing nudes from its public collection — not because of the inherent artistic merit but for a superficial policy to have the same number of male and female bodies on display. Gallery’s director Tim Marlow proudly announced the gender quota for art to start in March 2019 — so if you want to see art presented solely on its inherent artistic merits, you could visit the academy before that date. This is all to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Academy with the abandonment of pure artistic selection.
The Renaissance Nude, due to open in March 2019, will be composed of 85 works created from 1400 to 1530 as the best representations of the evolution of nude art. However, the pieces will not be selected solely based on their artistic worth within that period.
The curators are simply explained as “very keen in the beginning to have an equal balance of men and women.” Per Rumberg, curator of the Royal Academy, also said that the scholars selected for the new exhibition will also be chosen with gender criteria.
The great contribution of art to humanity is its capacity for allowing people to transcend our prejudices and bias in focusing on the pure aesthetic. Great works were once featured because they were great works rather than the race or gender of its the artist or the art subject. Now even our exposure to such great work will be manipulated to satisfy modern social or political conditions. It is not an act of interpretation of art but manipulation of art. The gender of the subjects is simply relevant to the merit of the artistry of the work. This decision puts the gender as the preeminent criteria in removing certain works to achieve nude balance of the genders.
What do you think?