Madam & Eve: Women Portraying Women

Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano. Laurence King, $65 (292p) ISBN 978-1-78627-156-3
Artist Rideal (Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by Women Artists) and curator Soriano add to the recent wave of art books celebrating contemporary women artists with this eclectic compilation. Focusing primarily on Western art from the past half-century, the authors survey the impact of the feminist movement of the 1970s on the development of contemporary art from over 200 artists. The book includes work from household names like Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abramovic, Cindy Sherman, and others whose feminist themes are well-known. More noteworthy is the selection of work by lesser-known artists. Highlights include Amy Sillman’s cartoonish painting of a woman staring at her body in the mirror, Rineke Dijkstra’s photo of a mother holding her newborn baby while staring blankly into the camera, and Betye Saar’s assemblage sculpture of an Aunt Jemima figurine equipped with a broom and rifle. Many of the images are disturbing: Cathie Pilkington’s sculpture of a seductive woman with a baby doll head, Paula Rego’s abortion Triptych (1998), and Daphne Todd’s postmortem portrait of her mother—yet it is precisely the perverse and subversive nature of these works that sets this book apart from others in its category. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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