Women’s Work: From Feminine Arts to Feminist Art

Frances Lincoln. Jul. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780711264656. $38. FINE ARTS
Gipson (The Ultimate Art Museum) provides 33 well-researched essays, each four to six pages long, to introduce readers to the work of women artists. Arranged chronologically by the artists’ birth years, the essays provide an introduction to how women artists’ work contributed to the story of book arts, ceramic arts, textile arts, and soft sculpture in the 20th and 21st centuries. The artists used traditionally feminine media to express nontraditional ideas about identity, emotion, and sexuality. An example of this is the entry for Judy Chicago, whose multimedia The Dinner Party pays homage to artists like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, and who subverts “patriarchal structures through boldly feminist imagery and the use of traditionally ‘feminine’ art forms.” With its Coptic-stitched binding, the design of the book itself represents one aspect of women’s work. Equal space is devoted to images and text. The high-quality images leap off the pages, allowing readers to see colors, textures, surfaces, finishes, and dimensionality. Also included are a bibliography, index, picture credits, acknowledgments, and a list of other artists to explore.
VERDICT This work will appeal to those interested in feminist, modern, and contemporary art, especially in the media noted above.
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