Modern Women

The anthology Modern Women ($65, MoMA, cloth; DAP), edited by Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz, is the fruit of a five-year research project and includes 50 essays. It accompanies an ongoing series of eleven exhibitions highlighting work by women artists.

Among the thematic essays on contemporary topics:

  • Luis Perez-Oramas, “Abstraction, Organism, Apparatus: Notes on the Penetrable Structure in the Work of Lygia Clark, Gego, and Mira Schendel”
  • Uko Hasegawa, “Performativity in the Work of Female Japanese Artists in the 1950s-1960s and the 1990s”
  • Barbara London, “From Video to Intermedia: A Personal History”
  • Schwartz, “Mind, Body, Sculpture: Alice Aycock, Mary Miss, Jackie Winsor in the 1970s”
  • Johanna Burton, “Fundamental to the Image: Feminism and Art in the 1980s”
  • Gretchen L. Wagner, “Riot on the Page: Thirty Years of Zines by Women”
  • Roxana Marcoci, “From Face to Mask: Collage, Montage, and Assemblage in Contemporary Portraiture”
  • Huey Copeland, “In the Wake of the Negress”
  • Helen Molesworth, “How to Install Art as a Feminist”

With 305 artists included, the book surely represents a significant effort at canon formation. (The website lists closer to 900 artists in the museum’s collection.) Video of the May symposium is online, as well as conversations with Butler, Schwartz, Aruna D’Souza, and others. Phoebe Hoban put the project in context for ArtNews, and Judith H. Dobrzynski commented at¬† and for the Art Newspaper. There is also a blog.