Here we list all the new books about women artists—from the past, and also from the present—that have come to our attention, published in the third quarter of this calendar year. Each description is drawn from the blurb on the publisher’s website. If you know of other titles that should be on this list, please let us know by comment or by email (Erika@artherstory.net).
The Story of Art Without Men, by Katy Hessel. Publisher: Penguin, 2022.
How many women artists do you know? Who makes art history? Did women even work as artists before the twentieth century? And what is the Baroque anyway? Explore the Dutch Golden Age, the astonishing work of post-War artists in Latin America and the women artists defining art in the 2020s. Have your sense of art history overturned, and your eyes opened to many art forms often overlooked or dismissed. From the Cornish coast to Manhattan, Nigeria to Japan, this is the story of art for our times—one with women at its heart, brought together for the first time by the creator of the Instagram feed @thegreatwomenartists.
The Story of Art Without Men is Waterstones Book of the Year for 2022; and it was Tate’s September Book of the Month. Read the reviews in the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and The Spectator; and read interviews with the author in Another Magazine and Gagosian Quarterly. The book will be published in the US in March 2023.
Botanical Entanglements: Women, Natural Science, and the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England, by Anna K. Sagal. Publisher: University of Virginia Press, 2022.
In Botanical Entanglements, Anna Sagal reveals how women’s active participation in scientific discourses of the eighteenth century was enabled by the manipulation of social and cultural conventions that have typically been understood as limiting factors. She pairs studies of well-known authors—Eliza Haywood, Charlotte Lennox, Maria Edgeworth, and Charlotte Smith—with authors and artists who receive less attention in this context—Priscilla Wakefield, Maria Jacson, Elizabeth Blackwell, Henrietta Maria Moriarty, and Mary Delany—to offer a nuanced portrait of the diverse strategies women employed to engage in scientific labor.
Masters of Shape: The Lives and Art of American Women Sculptors, by Maria Ausherman. Publisher: Goff Books, 2022.
In this book, Maria Ausherman chronicles the lives of seventeen pioneering women sculptors who dared to speak their truths about inequality and injustice and overcame obstacles of gender and race in the last hundred and fifty years. With many helpful references for additional in-depth readings and beautiful photographs taken by Steven Taylor, this book is a gem for anyone who loves reading how immensely skillful and creative people pursue their passions through the art of sculpture.
How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers (And Other Parents), by Hettie Judah. Publisher: Lund Humphries, 2022.
In this polemical volume, critic and campaigner Hettie Judah argues that a paradigm shift is needed within the art world to take account of the needs of artist mothers (and other parents: artist fathers, parents who don’t identify with the term “mother,” and parents in other sectors of the art world). Drawing on interviews with artists internationally, the book highlights some of the success stories that offer models for the future, from alternative support networks and residency models, to studio complexes with onsite childcare, and galleries with family-friendly policies.
Maria Sibylla Merian: Changing the Nature of Art and Science, Edited by Marieke van Delft, Kay Etheridge, Hans Mulder, Bert van de Roemer and Florence Pieters. Publisher: Lannoo Publishers, 2022.
Maria Sibylla Merian. Changing the Nature of Art and Science provides new insights into Merian’s life and work, re-examines the existing canon, and explores her influence on the contemporary arts. The contributing authors variously investigate her network, her processes and products, and her impact on art and natural history. Her work is compared to that of artists and scientists who preceded and followed her, as well as to that of contemporaries, both male and female.
Altogether, this richly illustrated volume presents the most recent knowledge about one of the most remarkable women of the early modern period.
Bertha Wegmann, Edited by Gertrud Oelsner and Lene Bøgh Rønberg. Publisher: Strandberg Publishing, 2022.
Bertha Wegmann (1846–1926) is one of Danish Art’s best kept secrets. She obtained great success abroad through large exhibitions both in and out of Denmark and received special recognition at the Salon in Paris. Despite this, Wegmann has almost disappeared from the collective memory of Danish art. Bertha Wegmann is the first research-based book on the artist and is plentifully illustrated with both well-known and recently discovered paintings, photographs and archived material. The book is published in connection with the first grand exhibition on Bertha Wegmann at The Hirschsprung Collection in 2022.
Charlotte Berend-Corinth, Edited by Andrea Jahn. Publisher: Hirmer, 2022.
In her time, Charlotte Berend-Corinth (1880–1967) shone as an artist and was, like Käthe Kollwitz, one of the few women members of the Berlin Secession. This monograph is dedicated to the highly gifted, successful, and unfairly neglected artist, presenting an impressive synopsis of her oeuvre. Berend-Corinth pursued a remarkable career with ultra-modern, radical subjects in the Berlin of the 1910s and 1920s until she was compelled to leave Germany and to emigrate to the United States due to her Jewish ancestry. Her early work, in which she captured the permissive mood of the Berlin art and theater scene during the 1910s and 1920s, represents one main area of focus, as do the later portraits of famous personalities of her time and some of her remarkable self-portraits, still lifes, and landscape pictures.
Lucie Rie, by Isabella Smith. Publisher: Eiderdown Books, 2022.
Isabella Smith here explores Lucie Rie’s tumultuous life through her extraordinary work. From early promise as a ceramic artist in Europe, Rie found herself on the verge of obscurity in Britain and spent her wartime “cabbage-days” creating buttons to make ends meet. But by the 1950s, her intentionally flawed and experimental glazed designs had become popular British domestic wares. Her signature sgraffito technique and later “flared-lip” vases are now among her most recognizable work. Today, as Rie’s pots smash international auction records, interest in this émigré artist—who fled Nazi-occupied Europe to become an icon of ceramic art—continues to grow.
Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1988–2009, preface by Elizabeth Smith; text by Douglas Dreishpoon, Suzanne Boorsch. Publisher: Radius Books with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, 2022.
Helen Frankenthaler’s invention of the soak-stain technique expanded the possibilities of abstract painting with references to figuration and landscape. In later years, her practice continued to evolve through the use of diverse media and processes, as she shifted from painting canvas on the floor to using larger sheets of paper that were laid out on the floor or on table tops for easier accessibility. The continuity between the late work and what came before is striking, as the painter, graced with a vast art-historical image bank, and technical prowess, moved in whatever direction suited her mood and imagination. Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1988–2009 is the first book to explore the late period of Frankenthaler’s art and life. Profusely illustrated with more than 95 plates and 40 archival images, the book features essays by Douglas Dreishpoon and Suzanne Boorsch; a roundtable discussion with Katharina Grosse, Pepe Karmel, and Mary Weatherford; an illustrated chronology and selected bibliography.
Jacqueline Humphries, by Frances Guerin. Publisher: Lund Humphries, 2022.
Over the last three decades, Jacqueline Humphries (b.1960) has, through an innovative painterly process, challenged the limits of abstraction. She has produced a body of work that reaches beyond modernism, Abstract Expressionism, and abstraction as we know it. Multi-layered in application, Humphries challenges the viewer to interact with her painting in diverse ways, inviting new approaches to looking and being with a work. Expertly analysing the ways in which Humphries has challenged convention and placed abstract painting at the centre of our twenty-first century visual environment, Frances Guerin’s illuminating text reveals an artist at the peak of her powers.
Barbara Rae: The Lammermuirs, text by Barbara Rae, Duncan Macmillan and Maureen Barrie. Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts, 2022.
Drawn by the long history of south-eastern Scotland and the many conflicting elements in its natural environment—wind farms, pylons, forestry plantations, grouse moors and sheep—the distinguished Scottish painter and printmaker Barbara Rae CBE RA has made numerous studies of these wild expanses. This handsome volume reproduces a wide selection of her intensely colorful images, with accompanying photographs and maps, and texts by art critic Duncan Macmillan and Maureen Barrie, who worked for many years at National Museums Scotland.
Diane Arbus Documents, Edited by Max Rosenberg. Publisher: David Zwirner Books, 2022.
Best known for her penetrating images exploring what it means to be human, Diane Arbus is a pivotal and singular figure in American postwar photography. Arbus’ black-and-white photographs demolish aesthetic conventions and upend all certainties. Through an assemblage of articles, criticism, and essays from 1967 to the present, this groundbreaking publication charts the reception of the photographer’s work and offers comprehensive insight into the critical conversations, as well as misconceptions, around this highly influential artist.
Howardena Pindell: A New Language, with text by Anna Lovatt, Amy Tobin, Adeze Wilford, and Howardena Pindell. Publisher: Fruitmarket, 2022.
Artist, activist, writer, and teacher Howardena Pindell has been a force in contemporary art since the late 1960s. This book is a celebration and critical examination of her painting and writing and marks her first solo exhibition in the UK. It takes its title—and its cue—from her: “I am an artist. I am not part of a so-called ‘minority,’ ‘new’ or ’emerging’ or ‘a new audience.’ These are all terms used to demean, limit, and make people of color appear to be powerless. We must evolve a new language which empowers us and does not cause us to participate in our own disenfranchisement.” With illustrations of a selection of paintings from the 1970s to now, this book presents Pindell’s inspiring and unflinchingly active imagination, and explores her articulation of a “new language” as exemplary in articulating empowerment.
Betye Saar, Serious Moonlight, Edited with text by Stephanie Seidel; foreword by Alex Gartenfeld; text by Sampada Aranke, Edwidge Danticat; interview by Leah Ollman. Publisher: Delmonico Books, 2022.
Showcasing a lesser-known aspect of Saar’s art, Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight provides new insights into her explorations of ritual, spirituality and cosmologies, as well as themes of the African diaspora. Featured here are significant installations created by Saar from 1980 to 1998, including Oasis (1984), a work reconfigured at ICA Miami’s 2022 Saar exhibition for the first time in more than 30 years. With compelling scholarship and rich illustration—combining new installation photography and archival material—Betye Saar: Serious Moonlight reinforces and celebrates Saar’s standing as a visionary artist, storyteller and mythmaker. It also confirms the ongoing significance and relevance of her work to the most pressing issues in America today.
Gathie Falk: Revelations, by Sarah Milroy. Publisher: McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Figure.1 Publishing, 2022.
Glossy fruit piles, flower beds in bloom, floating cabbages, kitchen chairs festooned with blossoms, and night skies studded with stars: Gathie Falk has produced a world of wonders in her more than sixty years of art making. Her paintings, sculptures, performances, and sculptural installations express a deeply personal way of seeing, exalting the everyday in works redolent of ceremony and tinged with the legacies of Surrealism and Pop art. The myriad strands of Falk’s rampant imagination are brought together in this triumphant look back at the creative life well lived, and the mystery that lies ahead.
Cressida Campbell (no author/s specified). Publisher: National Gallery of Australia, 2022.
Cressida Campbell celebrates the career of an exceptional Australian colorist who has worked between painting and printmaking for more than forty years. This book offers new insights into Cressida Campbell’s life and work, featuring original research and reflections from curators, artists, poets and writers, as well the artist’s own autobiographical notes. Generously illustrated, the publication will locate Campbell within the lineage of significant Australian contemporary artists.
Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists, Edited by Roxana Marcoci; with contributions from Helen Kornblum, Kathy Halbreich, Dana Ostrander, Caitlin Ryan, and Phil Taylor. Publisher: MoMA, 2022.
Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists spans more than one hundred years of photography, from a turn-of-the-century photograph of racially segregated education in the United States by Frances Benjamin Johnston, to a contemporary portrait celebrating Indigenous art forms by the Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero. By looking at the intersections of photography with feminism, civil rights, Indigenous sovereignty, and queer liberation, Our Selves contributes vital insights into figures too often excluded from our current cultural narratives.
Available as a new edition or in a new format
Xenia Hausner: True Lies, Edited by Elsy Lahner and Klaus Albrecht Schröder. Publisher: Hirmer Verlag, 2021; second revised edition, 2022.
Mary Fedden: Enigmas and Variations, by Christopher Andreae. Publisher: Lund Humphries, 2014; reprint, 2022.
The Photographic Legacy of Frances Benjamin Johnston, by Maria Ausherman. Publisher: The University of Alabama Press, 2009; paperback and ebook, 2022.
Similar Art Herstory posts:
New Books about Women Artists | Apr–Jun 2022
New Books about Women Artists | Jan–Mar 2022
New Books About History’s Women Artists | Oct–Dec 2021
New Books About History’s Women Artists | July–Sept 2021
New Books About History’s Women Artists | Apr–Jun 2021
Art Herstory’s Women Artists Favorite Things, 2020 Edition
New Books About History’s Women Artists | Jan–March 2021
New Books About History’s Women Artists | Oct–Dec 2020
Ten Intriguing Books About Remarkable Women Artists, a guest post by Carol M. Cram