cover image Visions: Stories about Women Artists

Visions: Stories about Women Artists

Leslie Sills. Albert Whitman & Company, $18.95 (58pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-8491-0

Sills follows her successful Inspirations with another, equally satisfying collection of essays about women artists' lives. Neither stereotypes nor cliches enter into the author's straightforward discussion of her four subjects, whether approaching impressionist Mary Cassatt's struggle to gain acceptance as a woman painter or African American Betye Saar's use of political and ethnic themes in her collages and sculptures. Surrealist Leonora Carrington's tumultuous personal life gets the same even-handed treatment as do her hallucinatory paintings, and Mary Frank's lyrical, fractured sculpture seems to grow organically out of Sills's description of her and the losses she has survived. Photographs of the artists as children and as adults add to the book's intimate atmosphere. The works of art--copiously presented in high-quality reproductions--are uniformly engaging and, thanks to the author's subtle analysis, easy to appreciate. Ages 9-up. (Apr.)