Great Women Artists

Phaidon. Oct. 2019. 464p. ed. by ed. by Various. ISBN 9780714878775. $59.95. FINE ARTS
This encyclopedia-style compendium of artwork from more than 400 female artists, arranged alphabetically by name, covers a wide variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, live performance, music, and dance. Each entry boasts a full-color image accompanied by a paragraph explaining the significance of the piece. These varied summaries represent more than 50 countries spanning the last 500 years, making this an expansive collection. The omission of a few creators—photographer Monica Lozano and painter Adelaide Labille-Guiard—is surprising, but as women have historically been marginalized in the arts, it would be challenging for any book to be entirely comprehensive. The introduction by Phaidon commissioning editor Rebecca Morrill acknowledges this and provides insight into the selection process, stating that “the chief aim [was] to create as varied a representation of art as possible.”
VERDICT Shedding light on many influential female artists, some of whom have been overlooked in other art literature, this beautiful book is an excellent choice for those interested in expanding their knowledge and discovering “overlooked and undervalued” women in the art world.
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