Great Housewives of Art

Sally Swain, Author Penguin Books $11.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-14-011586-4
``Why don't art galleries display more images of modern woman's daily domestic grind?'' Forty-two color pictures elaborate on the above question and similar ones raised in this witty visual spoof of ``great'' art, i.e., art made by men according to male esthetics. Thus, a composition whose neat geometry recalls Mondrian demands a second look: the apparently abstract configuration depicts a robotic woman (``Mrs. Mondrian'') wielding a mop. Another woman (with blood trickling from an amputated ear) makes the bed of Van Gogh's famously awry room. And in this Dejeuner sur l'herbe , the female picnickers wear business suits while a man reclines in abashed nudity. The jokes are pungent and readily accessible--no arcane allusions here. Several gags misfire: ``Mrs. Pollock Can't Seem to Find Anything Any More'' (the image of a woman tearing her hair is embedded in blithely swirling strokes of color) obscures the historical ``Mrs. Pollock,'' the noted painter Lee Krasner. Swain, an Australian, is a self-taught artist and illustrator. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 64 pages - 978-0-385-25347-5
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