Photographer Lori Grinker Documents Life “Afterwar”

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on women in the arts, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more.

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Cover image of Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict by Lori Grinker

Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict
Lori Grinker
(de.MO Design Limited, 2004)

On November 11, many nations around the world will observe Armistice Day, or Veteran’s Day, a holiday first created in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I—known in its day as “the war to end all wars.”

As Veteran’s Day approaches, 97 years since its first observance, it is sobering to reflect on the many conflicts that continue around the world. Photographer Lori Grinker employs portrait photography and first-person testimony to chronicle the lasting traumas experienced by male and female soldiers in her poignant book Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict.

Grinker highlights veterans from both sides of wars in the 20th and 21st centuries, spanning more than 30 countries and five continents. Within 23 sections—one section for each conflict—Grinker assembles her subjects in an ideologically-alternating arrangement. In a chapter on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only one page separates the portrait of a Intifada fighter from that of an Israel Defense Forces veteran. The effect is startling and powerful. Ideologies become irrelevant. Grinker, who received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, manages to evoke something different and unique with each portrait, capturing post-war trauma in many enigmatic iterations.

Arafat Jacoub, Intifada (Palestine), participated 1989–1990 (left) and Yossi Arditi, Israeli Defense Army, served 1971–1988 (right); All photos: Lori Grinker

Arafat Jacoub, Intifada (Palestine), participated 1989–1990 (left) and Yossi Arditi, Israeli Defense Army, served 1971–1988 (right); All photos: Lori Grinker

Grinker writes that her works “originate from the personal but…speak to our commonalities.” She says, “ultimately, my work is about the ephemeral transcendence of everyday experience.” Perhaps the real power of this book is its suggestion that human beings have more that unites than divides them. Viewed in this way, Grinker’s powerful and elegiac perspective elevates Afterwar from journalistic account to artistic testimony.

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Penny Kettlewell, U.S. Army (Vietnam conflict), served 1966–1971; Photo: Lori Grinker

All are welcome to view this book in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Lydia Hejka is the fall 2016 intern in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

See and Be Seen: Diane Arbus

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know,” said Diane Arbus (1923–71), who obsessed about the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Six decades after she left commercial fashion photography and began her artistic career, many of Arbus’s previously unknown secrets and photographs have finally been published.

Created to accompany an exhibition at The Met Breuer, the catalogue diane arbus: in the beginning (Yale University Press/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016) showcases photographs from 1956–1962, providing a prelude to the best-selling monograph from Arbus’s 1972 retrospective. Featuring over 100 images, an essay by curator Jeff Rosenheim, and notes from the museum’s archive of her personal papers and negatives, the catalogue focuses on the first seven years of Arbus’s oeuvre. Featuring children, society ladies, carnival performers, and eccentrics, these early photographs depict the development of her famously striking and evocative style.

Arthur Lubow’s meticulously researched and revealing biography Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer (HarperCollins, 2016), published just weeks before the opening of the Met exhibition, provides a similar look behind the curtain shrouding the artist’s mysterious life. In 85 short chapters based on interviews, archival research, and careful study of her work, Lubow describes Arbus’s personal history, philosophy, and approach to photography.

Arbus’s art centered on a profound desire to “not only see her subjects but to be seen by them.” She often talked for hours with people she found interesting before photographing them, charming them into revealing their secrets, hopes, and dreams, waiting for the perfect shot that captured the essence of their personalities. Though plagued by illness, depression, and financial insecurity throughout her life, her inventiveness and creativity made her, as a teacher once noted, “totally original.”

“I do it because there are things that nobody would see unless I photographed them,” said Arbus in a 1968 interview. Through the vivid detail of this biography and the catalogue of dozens of previously inaccessible early works, a full portrait of one of the most celebrated and provocative artists of the 20th century can be seen at last.

All are welcome to view these books, which will be available soon in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Kait Gilioli was the summer 2016 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Louise Fishman: Freedom in the Abstract

“Even before the women’s movement, art gave me a sense of freedom and permission that anything was possible,” says abstract artist Louise Fishman (b. 1939). Featuring 50 years of Fishman’s boundary-pushing works, the catalogue Louise Fishman (DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2016) was published for her first-ever retrospective, at the Neuberger Museum of Art, as well as a concurrent exhibition of her small-scale paintings and sculptures, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

Insightful essays by Helaine Posner; Nancy Princenthal; and Carrie Moyer; together with Ingrid Schaffner’s interview with the artist, reveal how Fishman redefined the traditionally masculine Abstract Expressionist tradition. Profoundly influenced by feminist and Jewish cultures, Fishman experimented with materials, ideas, and styles to form her authentic artistic voice.

In an effort to purge male influence from her art, Fishman embraced traditionally feminine craft techniques through deconstructed paintings that were dyed, cut, and stitched back together. In her spontaneous word-based paintings—collectively known as the “Angry Paintings”—Fishman furiously scrawled the names of female writers, critics, and painters. “It was as if I’d gotten inside and exposed this anger with which we all identified,” says Fishman.

Louise Fishman, Two Hearts, 1981; Oil on linen, 22 in. x 19 in.; NMWA, Gift of Patsy Rogers and Lucille F. Goodman

Louise Fishman, Two Hearts, 1981; Oil on linen, 22 in. x 19 in.; NMWA, Gift of Patsy Rogers and Lucille F. Goodman

When she returned to painting after a five-year break, Fishman used a palette knife to create highly tactile works. Fishman says, “I was trying to make paintings that felt like objects.” In the late 1970s to early ’80s, Fishman’s small-scale abstractions referenced her renewed interest in Jewish history.

Fishman’s painting in NMWA’s collection, Two Hearts (1981), may allude to Talmudic literature, where the heart represents inclinations toward both good and evil. Eye-popping shades of red and white activate the painting’s two organic, oblong forms from their deep brown background, while traces of green peek through the densely built and scraped surface.

Another formative series, 19 “Remembrance and Renewal” paintings, combined paint and beeswax with human ashes that Fishman had gathered at Auschwitz. The artist says, “I felt like I had company in the studio. I had these voices with me and I could paint.” She later experimented with paper collage, blades, and carpet squares to form multi-layered and deeply personal works.

In the mid-20th century, Fishman’s identity as a lesbian and an abstract painter made her “doubly invisible,” writes Moyer. “While the rest of the art world catches up, Fishman’s painting keeps getting more and more expressive and capacious.”

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is available in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Recent Acquisitions at the LRC: The Agonizing and Absurd Moments of Palestinian Life

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on women in the arts, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more. Meet Tanya Habjouqa at the museum on Wednesday, July 27 for a special in-gallery program.

The cover of Occupied Pleasures by Tanya Habjouqa, FotoEvidence, 2015

The cover of Occupied Pleasures by Tanya Habjouqa, FotoEvidence, 2015

Occupied Pleasures
Tanya Habjouqa
(FotoEvidence, 2015)

Jordanian photographer Tanya Habjouqa reveals the agonizing and absurd instants of occupied Palestinian life in Occupied Pleasures. In the foreword, poet Nathalie Handal describes the book as “a collection of stories captured in images, images like Palestinian lives lived in instants only.” Habjouqa’s photographs portray joyous moments­­ of daily life—a family picnics together, women dance, and children swim—that are surrounded by dark circumstances. The occupation is obvious in these images: the menacing security wall looms in the background, a man sits at a checkpoint, a woman holding a bouquet wanders through the tunnel between Gaza and Egypt to a forbidden wedding.

Habjouqa’s work has been exhibited and published worldwide, and six of her photographs are currently on view at NMWA in She Who Tells a Story. She currently works from East Jerusalem on projects concerning identity politics and subcultures of the Levant. Habjouqa is also a founding member of the Rawiya photo collective, a group of women photographers from the Middle East who challenge stereotypes and support fellow women photographers in the region.

Occupied Pleasures contains a combination of photojournalism and imagery illustrating everyday Palestinian life, which Laleh Khalili refers to in the book’s introduction as “evanescent moments.” This body of work offers a nuanced perspective. Khalili writes, “It brings together the indisputable condition of their lives—occupation, violence, surveillance—and shows us that even within the confines of normalised atrocity, the spirit effervesces.”

In one captivating photograph, a man smokes a cigarette in his car outside of a checkpoint, with a sheep in the passenger seat of his car. “Detention juxtaposed against a moment of respite illuminates the extremities of the Palestinian narrative: celebration and mourning, respite and struggle, and the pleasure of smoking a cigarette,” writes Khalili. Through this collection of photos, Habjouqa exposes moments of levity to give the viewer a window into the humanity of the Palestinian people.

Meet artist Tanya Habjouqa at the museum for an in-gallery conversation on Wednesday, July 27. Reserve your spot on NMWA’s website.

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is available in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum, the library is open to the public Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

 ­­Katy Seely was the winter/spring 2016 intern in the Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Recent Acquisitions at the LRC: Their Stories Through Her Lens

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on women in the arts, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more.

Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album
Newsha Tavakolian
(Kehrer Heidelberg Berlin, 2015)

Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album by Newsha Tavakolian

The cover of Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album by Newsha Tavakolian

In Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, Newsha Tavakolian (b. 1981) documents the lives of nine Iranians in Tehran through 135 pages of full-color photographs. As Tavakolian describes in her artist statement, her photographs represent a generation of Iranians who are “special in their normality.” Despite the burdens of their social and political situation, they continue to persevere in their daily lives. Tavakolian’s subjects are “interchangeable, thus representing many.” They represent a generation whose photo albums end with blank pages, and Tavakolian seeks to fill those pages. Visitors can enjoy Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album in the museum’s Library and Research Center and view other works by Tavakolian in the special exhibition She Who Tells a Story.

Najieh and her two sons during a parade celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Freedom Square, February 11, 2014” (146).

“Najieh and her two sons during a parade celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Freedom Square, February 11, 2014” (page 146 of Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album).

Each section of the book begins with an image taken from her subjects’ childhood photo albums, after which Tavakolian continues the story with her own photographs. Posed portraits among debris on a mountain outside of Tehran, along with candid photos, “visualize a generation marginalized by those speaking in their name.” Short narratives and the captions help to flesh out the stories of these nine middle-class Iranians.

Tavakolian’s photographs show a side of Iran that is not commonly represented in Western media. “As we stopped adding pictures to our albums, we became subject to the perceptions of outsiders and those who focus only on the extremes of our society­—the angry protesters or the mysterious women with their veils,” says Tavakolian. Blank Pages gives readers the opportunity to see Iran through Tavakolian’s lens.

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is available in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

 —­­Katy Seely is an intern in the Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Feminism and Daring: Cataloguing Niki de Saint Phalle

“Very early on I decided to become a heroine . . .” said Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002). “What did it matter who I would be? The main thing was that it had to be difficult, grandiose, exciting.”

That quote, which adorns the back cover of Niki de Saint Phalle (La Fábrica / Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 2015), captures the ambition and bravado of the French-American artist. The lush catalogue was published for a recent retrospective of Saint Phalle’s work that was shown at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the RMN-Grand Palais in Paris.

Saint Phalle may be best known for exuberant mosaic sculptures known as her “Nanas,” several of which were showcased as the inaugural works in NMWA’s New York Avenue Sculpture Project. This retrospective celebrates and contextualizes her Nanas while shedding light on her other work—from paintings to sculptures to experimental films—as well as her boldly cultivated persona and the political and feminist subjects that her art addressed.

In this catalogue, Saint Phalle’s work is presented in four sections—“The Beginnings,” on her formative work; “Shooting, Performances, and Commitment,” which traces her public persona and action-based Shooting Paintings; “Feminine Imagery,” highlighting her vibrant and sometimes aggressive portrayals of women; and “Sculpture and Public Art.” Numerous contributors include Bloum Cardenas, the artist’s granddaughter and trustee of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation, and Camille Morineau, lead exhibition curator.

Morineau’s introductory essay asserts Saint Phalle’s status as a feminist and risk-taker with a “mixture of coherence, complexity, and courage which distinguishes great artists.”

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is available in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Elizabeth Lynch is the editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Recent Acquisitions at the LRC: You Are You

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on women in the arts, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more.

You Are You
by Lindsay Morris
Kehrer Heidelberg Berlin, 2015
Released in conjunction with the 2015 exhibition at ClampArt, New York City

You Are You features photographs by Lindsay Morris that document gender-nonconforming children at an annual weekend-long summer camp. The camp provides children with a safe, supportive environment where they can explore and express multiple interpretations of gender alongside their families.

Morris’s work attempts to broaden the conversation on gender-nonconformity by contributing to a larger discussion of support and representation for youths. You Are You offers a glimpse into the importance of familial and societal support for gender-unique children. Noted author Jennifer Finney Boylan, who contributed an essay detailing her experiences as a transgender woman, explains, “As it turns out, the thing I most needed to learn was not how to do any one particular thing…No, the thing I needed to learn, back then as well as later, was that I was not alone.”

The book’s profound photographs capture the open expression and normalization of gender-variant childhood. The artist addresses the issue that a lack of understanding of gender identity and expression often leads to discrimination against gender-nonconforming individuals. You Are You marks a groundbreaking moment when “gender-creative childhoods are being freely expressed.” The book not only incorporates photographs of the children, but also the voices of family members on raising gender-creative youths and the importance of listening to their needs.

Morris’s project highlights the self-awareness and bravery of gender-creative children. It frames their growth and needs within the scope of societal responsibility; we must listen to them, support them, and let them explore the gender spectrum. Most importantly, we must let them be who they are.

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is on the wall display in the LRC’s reading room. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Bianca Rawlings is an intern at the Library and Research Center. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in art history with a concentration in late Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, focusing on issues of gender, representation, and marginalization.

Louise Bourgeois: By the Book

The exhibition catalogue Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells (Prestel Publishing and Haus der Kunst, 2015) showcases the artist’s work creating Cells, a series of architectural sculptures that she worked on for twenty years, from 1986 through 2008.

These embody the belief of Bourgeois (1911–2010) that “space does not exist, it is just a metaphor for the structure of our existences.” The Cells are enclosures or cage forms, often incorporating mirrors, dummy-like figures, or staircases leading nowhere—nuanced and provocative spatial metaphors for her own personal history. The book compiles essays and conversations revealing Bourgeois’s influences and the way that her childhood experiences, coupled with recondite concepts from her early works, form the Cells series.

The book’s sections provide a comprehensive perspective on how Bourgeois’s life and memories influenced the Cells. Texts include conversations with Bourgeois’s long-time assistant Jerry Gorovoy, essays by renowned scholars, a short biography, and selected statements and quotations from the artist herself.

Several essays focus on a single Cell, such as the elaborate and cage-like Passage Dangereux (1997), and explain how the piece relates to Bourgeois’s oeuvre and biography. Other contributors focus on the abstract meanings behind the emotion-laden sculptural constructions. These complex emotions are rooted in Bourgeois’s difficult childhood, her aggression toward her philandering father, and the constant tension between her desires to remember the past and to forget it. Gorovoy states, “The Cells tell stories and are definitely autobiographical, but the emotions are universal.”

Exhibition connection:

Louise Bourgeois, Hairy Spider, 2001; Drypoint on paper, 19 x 16 in.; On loan from the Holladay Collection; Art © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA New York; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Louise Bourgeois, Hairy Spider, 2001; Drypoint on paper, 19 x 16 in.; On loan from the Holladay Collection; Art © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA New York; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Currently on view at NMWA in Super Natural, Louise Bourgeois’s drypoint print Hairy Spider depicts a spider, a common motif in the artist’s work.

Bourgeois associated spiders with patience, and she often likened them to her mother, whom she saw as patient to a fault when it came to handling her father’s adultery with her live-in nanny.

To capture her mother’s presence in painful memories from her childhood, Bourgeois included spiders in some of the Cells featured in the exhibition catalogue—the book reveals that Bourgeois often felt frustrated that her patient mother calmly tolerated this infidelity. The drypoint in Super Natural connects back to Bourgeois’s oft-revisited themes of spiders, patience, and motherhood.

—Christy Slobogin is the publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Recent Acquisitions at the LRC: Spirit of Caesar, Soul of a Woman?

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on women in the arts, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more.

Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting
by Jesse M. Locker
Yale University Press, 2015

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) is perhaps the best-known female artist of the Renaissance. Her early life and works have been discussed extensively by scholars, and she is presented as an empowered woman—an evocative figure in the art historical canon. The artist once proclaimed, “You will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman.”

The cover of Jesse M. Locker's Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Paints

The cover of Jesse M. Locker’s Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting

Strangely, very little has been written about Gentileschi’s later years. Existing research predominantly frames her artistic career around the highly publicized trial that followed her alleged rape by one of her father’s studio assistants. Art historians have generally neglected to explore her success in the years afterward. Locker analyzes Gentileschi from a fresh approach in her book Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting. Instead of concentrating on the artist’s early life, Locker examines the artist’s mature years, her poetry, and her passionate love affair with Florentine nobleman Francesco Maria Maringhi.

Gentileschi’s later years were, arguably, the high point of her career. Later works such as Christ and the Samaritan Woman differ in style from her earlier creations, featuring more vivid color. Such paintings, Locker asserts, are more representative of the Gentileschi that scholars and art enthusiasts admire, and they were also better received in her lifetime.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1637

Artemisia Gentileschi, Christ and the Samaritan Woman, 1637

In a noteworthy departure from other scholarly texts, Locker includes Gentileschi’s poetry. Although she had a weak grasp of grammar and spelling, Gentileschi’s poetry was well-regarded by notable literary figures, including Michelangelo. Venetian writers composed poems and letters praising Gentileschi as a figure worthy of remembrance.

Locker’s project contextualizes Gentileschi and her works and challenges prevailing assumptions about the artist’s life and personality. Her book makes considerable contributions to the field of Renaissance studies. Most importantly, it reintroduces us to an artist often pigeonholed by scholars by shining a light on obscured parts of her oeuvre, writing, and relationships with literati. With Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting, Locker presents a more complete portrait of the artist, as evocative and intriguing as ever.

You can find this book, along with other fantastic reads, on the wall display in the LRC’s reading room. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfy reading chairs, visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature artists’ books, archival manuscripts, and rare books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.

—Bianca Rawlings is an intern at the Library and Research Center. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in art history with a concentration in late Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, focusing on issues of gender, representation, and marginalization.

Recent Acquisitions at the Library: Global Feminisms and Yin Xiuzhen

The next time you visit NMWA, come to the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see new books on contemporary art, as well as reference books, artists’ books, and more!

Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art
Exhibition catalogue, Brooklyn Museum (2007)
Edited by Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin
Full-color illustrations, artist biographies, chapter notes, and a 10-page bibliography

GlobFem_BK-coverThis noteworthy exhibition and its equally impressive catalogue honor and examine trends in feminist art and international women artists whose work deals with political, economic, socio-cultural, gender, sexual, and racial identities. Over 80 contemporary women artists from 50 countries are included, and the artwork encompasses a broad range of artistic mediums and expression.

Editors Maura Reilly, curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Linda Nochlin, a prominent feminist art historian, and seven other art historians and curators offer a variety of international perspectives on the subject.

Visit the Brooklyn Museum’s website to view videos and an exhibition checklist.

Yin XiuzhenYX_cover
Contemporary Artist Series
Phaidon (2015)
Contributors: Hou Hanru, Wu Hung, Stephanie Rosenthal, and Song Dong
Full-color illustrations, interview, survey, focus, studio visit, and excerpts from the artist’s writing

Yin Xiuzhen, born in Beijing in 1963, is one of China’s leading contemporary artists. Her work addresses globalization, displacement, industrialization, and environmental issues. Her installations and sculptures draw from intense political and economic changes during her childhood and the ’85 New Wave movement.

She first gained international recognition for her 2001 Portable City: Beijing installation, part of an ongoing series incorporating clothing collected from the world’s largest cities in an artistic expression of each city’s urban environment. She has participated in many prestigious group exhibitions worldwide and was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010.

Yin Xiuzhen

Yin Xiuzhen inside her Heterotopic Cavitity 2009 installation

This first comprehensive monograph of Yin’s work provides an in-depth exploration of the artist’s background and creative process, including full-color illustrations of the artist’s work, an interivew with the artist, an essay examining historical and cultural contexts, previously unpublished writings by the artist, and insight into her studio practice.

All are welcome to look at these books, which are on display in the LRC’s reading room. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfy reading chairs, visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature artists’ books, archival manuscripts, and rare books. Reference Desk staff are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m.

—Jennifer Page is the library assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.