cover image The Women Who Changed Art Forever: Feminist Art–The Graphic Novel

The Women Who Changed Art Forever: Feminist Art–The Graphic Novel

Valentina Grande and Eva Rossetti, trans. from the Italian by Edward Fortes. Laurence King, $19.99 (136p) ISBN 978-1-913947-00-2

By combining four major voices in the feminist art movement of the 1970s and ’80s into one thematic group biography to represent the rise of contemporary feminist art, this sampler offers intriguing but overly brief introductions (sure to provoke arguments over who was left out). The opening chapter highlights Judy Chicago, best known for her installation piece Dinner Party, following the artist as she walks through New York City, reflecting on the many times she was told women couldn’t make art, or be taken seriously by the art world. The second installment features Faith Ringgold, an African American artist who creates story quilts interrogating the intersection of gender and race. The third artist, Cuban American Ana Mendieta, wove narratives of place, belonging, and Mother Goddess adoration into her earth sculptures before her early death at age 37 in 1985. The final section discusses the Guerilla Girls, a collective of anonymous activists who wore masks and covered New York City with posters about the gender inequality of museums in the 1980s. Rossetti’s painterly, bright artwork full of diverse faces and bodies elevates the text and improves pacing, as the summaries shift awkwardly from first to third person and can feel scattered. Hopefully readers will take these quick-sketch portraits as inspiration to seek out further resources, as each figure deserves a deeper dive. (Aug.)