Since we like both women and artists, we decided to make a list that combines the two. The following are books on or by leading women artists that we think you should look into. The catch: if the following titles haven’t recently graced a bookshelf near you, they will in a matter of months. Remember: Andy Warhol once said, “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” Artists include Dana Schutz, Barbara Kruger, Frida Kahlo, Marina Abramović, and more. Click past the jump to view all ten.
(Rizzoli) Don’t let all the bright colors fool you; Schutz is drawn toward the macabre. The New York-based painter, who graduated from Columbia’s MFA program in 2002, has had her work shown in museums and galleries around the globe, including paintings of Michael Jackson’s autopsy and people who eat their own flesh.
(The MIT Press) Marina Abramović has made a career out of sacrificing her body for art. Whether it’s eating a raw onion, carving a star into her stomach with a broken wine bottle, or remaining passive while audience members do whatever they want to her, Abramović has earned the title “grandmother of performance art.” The biography covers Abramović’s formative years, including her undocumented time in Yugoslavia.
(Rizzoli) Barbara Kruger likes to use simple images and pithy statements to remind us of the waste and excess found in modern culture. Throughout her career she’s taken on several major issues — abortion, consumerism, spirituality, identity — in a style that could blend in with supermarket tabloids found in checkout aisles across the country.
(Gregory R. Miller & Co.) Lipstick and dirt, nail polish and sweat — Marilyn Minter has a penchant for mixing glam with grime. The book features over 40 years worth of work from every period of Minter’s career, including photographs, video stills and nearly every painting Minter has made in full color.
(Taschen)Rose, C’est Paris is one part book, one part feature-length film by Bettina Rheims and her former husband, Serge Bramly. If that isn’t intriguing enough for you, the end result is described as “Equal parts erotica, fashion shoot, art monograph, metaphysical mystery, social and cultural archaeology of the French capital, and neo-noir arthouse film.”
(The Feminist Press at CUNY) “Ana’s death is one of millions that, despite four decades of feminist struggle, remain underestimated — social crimes that have yet to be fully confronted” reads the introduction to Who is Ana Mendieta?, a book about the life of the successful Cuban-American artist who died in 1985 after either jumping, accidentally falling, or being pushed out of her 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village.
(Rizzoli) Iran has been in the news a lot lately for election scandal, suspicious nuclear activity, and its treatment of women, so who better to address these issues than a politically minded, female artist from Iran? Photographer, videographer, and filmmaker — Shirin Neshat’s work has never been afraid of tackling the binaries pulling us in opposite directions, whether they be tensions between East and West, men and women, faith and reason.
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(I. B. Tauris) Can women ever be more than just “woman artists”? Despite fleeing Nazi Germany, living as a refugee, and dying at the young age of 34 from a brain tumor, it would seem that what shaped Eva Hesse involves more than just her womanhood. Author Vanessa Corby explores these issues and Hesse’s work in her upcoming book.
(RM) As it turns out, the Mexican painter was also highly interested in photography. After the recent discovery of Kahlo’s collection of over 6000 photographs in her former home, someone decided it would be a good idea to compile them into a book. The photos — some taken by Kahlo herself — supply more insight into the painter’s aesthetic taste and understanding of how she wanted to see the world.
(Manchester University Press) Author Katy Deepwell aims to uncover what happened to female British artists during this particular period of change in Europe. With women accounting for one third of the artist community whose work showed at major exhibits at this time, why did museums purchase, and historical texts record, so little of their art? Deepwell hopes to put these women in their rightful place.