Wet - CL

Mira Schor, Author, Mira Schor, Author, Schor, Author Duke University Press $84.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8223-1910-8
Where have all the feminists gone? Let us hope they are all putting together collections like this one by Schor, a painter, writer and teacher at the Parsons School of Design. These essays, which were previously published in Artforum, Art Journal, Heresies and M/E/A/N/I/N/G, include lucid attacks on the mostly male bastion of art theory and criticism along with thorough analyses of the ""failures"" and triumphs of feminist artists. They are sure, rational and mature, written with the calm confidence that can only come from a woman who has lived with feminism for more than 30 years. Whether she is creating new canons or overturning old ones (Rodin's Balzac, traditionally said to be holding ""his virility"" underneath his great cloak, becomes a part of the ""phallosensical homologue""), she does it with grace and a sense of humor. A modernist before she was a feminist, Schor began her career as a painter at CalArts Feminist Art Program in 1972, and in the second half of the book, she focuses more intently on painting. ""On Failure and Anonymity"" is a refreshingly honest essay on surviving the art world, while ""Figure/ Ground"" and ""Painting as Manual"" detail the joys of gooey pigment in theory and in practice. The last essay, which is about the concept of home, cleverly puts all of Schor's principal concerns (""irony, love, desire and representation"") under one roof. Feminists, artists and other keepers of our subversive fires will certainly find a home in this inspiring collection. Illustrations. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 02/01/1997
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