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Art Books

Claire Dederer’s Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma

This focuses on the moral failings of artists, many of them men. Hopscotching through a century of art, this takes up the lives of artists who have disappointed Dederer, ranging from Picasso to Hemingway, Virginia Woolf to Sylvia Plath, Nabokov to Doris Lessing, Wagner to Michael Jackson.

Helen Cammock’s I Will Keep My Soul

This multifaceted book reclaims the archive a space for creative reflection. It brings together poems, historical documents, photographs, and archival documents to illustrate the past, present, and future challenges Black people fight against due to the government's discriminatory laws in Southern America.

Lucy Lippard’s I See / You Mean

Lippard’s only novel merges the organization and constraint of minimalist and conceptual art practices with more erogenous, esoteric, even erotic forms. Her collage writing both obscures her real-world subjects and allows her a means by which to have critical reflection on how she was coming to see them.

Steve Lawrence’s Newspaper

At the time of its publication, Newspaper’s readership was formed through the community of queer-leaning artists in downtown New York. As an alternative exhibition space for photographers whose work was not being shown in galleries or museums, Newspaper summarized contemporary experience through the disjunctive visual relationships between images.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Selected Writings of Karin Higa

What roles did Asian Americans play in the development of modern art in the United States in the 20th century, and how did our notion of, and prejudice against, Asian American art materialize? A pioneering curator and art historian provides an excellent introduction to this still under-studied chapter in art history through her writings, as well as a poignant reflection on the confounding question of the relationship between identity and art.

Susanna Heller’s Beyond Pain, The Last Drawings

When an artist dies before they have fully achieved the critical place their work calls for, a necessary task begins, of sharing their work and creating critical and historical context. Susanna Heller: Beyond Pain, The Last Drawings, compiled, edited, and published by two of Heller’s oldest and dearest friends, artist Marlene Dumas and art historian Suzanne Styhler, is the first step in that task of celebrating and contextualizing an important body of work.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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