Women Artists: The Linda Nochlin Reader

Edited by Maura Reilly. Thames & Hudson, $50 (432p) ISBN 978-0-500-23929-2
Linda Nochlin has been a groundbreaking art critic and curator for decades, but this is the first collection devoted to her writing on the topic with which she is most associated: female artists. Opening with a new author interview, the text moves from 1971’s groundbreaking “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” through many years’ worth of catalogue essays, journal articles, and previously unpublished works. Nochlin is far from a one-note theorist; her concerns are varied and her thinking incisive. Among the topics she addresses are women painters after the French Revolution, subversive modes in Nancy Graves’s sculptures, and the uncanny in contemporary photographer Miwa Yanagi’s Fairy Tale series. She maintains a lucid and controlled style of prose, and even those essays with the strongest academic bent are highly readable. Readers will be delighted by this opportunity to watch Nochlin’s ideas advance over the decades, including the revisiting of her earlier arguments in “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists: 30 Years After.” Nochlin’s contributions have been crucial in rethinking art history and rejecting the narrow idea of a core female aesthetic. 247 illus. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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