Feminism is a powerful new interpretation of British art from an intersectional feminist perspective, penned by one of Britain’s greatest writers
“Art museums have long drawn me into their spaces. The infinite possibilities of the language of art opens me up to methods of communication quite unlike my own. I am fascinated by the most interesting and adventurous artists, who are surely among the most innovative thinkers on the planet. I am in awe of their talent and endless inventiveness, and my imagination is nourished by theirs. I am challenged to think differently about how we might understand, recreate, reshape, reimagine life itself—animate, inanimate, spirit. My senses are stimulated, my emotions stirred, my brain whirs away in the background and I feel very much alive. When I was invited to write this book, my first time writing about art, I immediately knew that I would turn my attention on women and womxn (to include non–binary people) of color in British art because, similar to the story throughout the arts, either as creator or curator, we haven’t been very visible. This book is personal—about the art I’ve seen, and the art I’ve loved—and my interpretation of the art in the national collection and beyond, from an intersectional feminist perspective.”
Bernardine Evaristo, MBE, is the award–winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other made her the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019, as well as winning the Fiction Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2020, where she also won Author of the Year and the Indie Book Award. She became the first woman of color and Black British writer to reach number one in the UK paperback fiction chart in 2020. Her writing spans reviews, essays, drama, and radio, and she has edited and guest–edited national publications, including the Sunday Times Style magazine. Her other awards and honors include an MBE in 2009. Evaristo is a professor of creative writing at Brunel University, London, and vice chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in London with her husband. ACCLAIMED AUTHOR: From a history–making author: the first Black woman to win the Booker Prize, whose book Girl, Woman,Other shared the prize with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. Evaristo has 73,700 followers on Twitter.
FAN BASE: Girl, Woman, Other was named one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019.
THOUGHT–PROVOKING: A powerful and personal look at art through an intersectional feminist perspective.
TIMELY AND RELEVANT: From the Tate: Look Again series, the United Kingdom’s National Collection of British Art reimagined for today.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS: Published for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023.
Gender is a polyphonic portrait of the representation of gender in art, from acclaimed playwright and artist Travis Alabanza
Gender is performance. Think of the acts of drama that go hand–in–hand with our experience of gender: a man spreading his legs on a train; a woman showing biceps in a boiler suit saying, “We Can Do it!”; a stiletto heel stepping on a briefcase. It seems wherever gender goes, there follows a show of what it might be trying to say. Art is also wrapped up in performance. We see a piece of art as a still of a performance in motion, a moment of drama, a snapshot, a glimpse into a spectacle—it captures a breath to be immortalized. In this book, celebrated playwright and artist Travis Alabanza offers a revelatory new perspective on the ways that art and gender have interacted through the ages, taking us into the drama that always follows gender, and the drama that always follows art. Through a number of recognizable works from the national collection of art, we discover who is really putting on a show, and what they are trying to tell us.
Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer, and theater maker based in London, via Bristol. Their writing, performance, and public discourse surrounding trans and Black identities has had them noted as one of the most prominent emerging trans voices in the arts and beyond. For stage, Alabanza wrote and performed in their debut show Burgerz. The show won the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and also sold out numerous venues including Southbank Centre and Traverse Theatre. It was also voted one of the top shows of the year by Guardian readers and is published by Oberon Books. Most recently, their play Overflow, which premiered at and live–streamed from The Bush, was met with critical acclaim including numerous four–star reviews and over 4,000 streams worldwide. Alabanza’s work has also appeared on BBC Front Row and The Verb, and in 2019 they hosted their first radio documentary Going to The Gay Bar for BBC Radio Four. Alabanza was listed in the Evening Standard as one of the 25 most influential Londoners under 25 and placed on the Dazed100 list. Visit them at travisalabanza.co.uk. TIMELY AND RELEVANT: From the Tate's Look Again series the UK’s National Collection of British Art reimagined for today.
NEW INSIGHT: A revelatory new perspective on the ways that art and gender have interacted through the ages.
Alabanza was listed in the Evening Standard as one of the 25 most influential Londoners under 25 and placed on the Dazed100 list. They have 72,600 followers on Instagram and 29,500 on Twitter.
A remarkable exploration of the use of light in art from the last 200 years
Light has been an enduring subject in art. In every conceivable media, artists have exploited the contrasts between light and dark, opposed cool and warm colors, drawn on science, and attempted to capture the transient effects of light and its emotional associations. This book explores how artists have perceived, illustrated, and utilized light since the 18th century. Beginning with the British artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), who captured triumphant explosions of light and sought to represent its ephemerality in paint, the book reveals how his expressive use of color and interest in evanescent light influenced the French Impressionists. For them, light became the subject itself, as the likes of Claude Monet (1840–1926), Pierre–Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Alfred Sisley (1839–99), and others ventured outside to capture the momentary effects of sunlight on canvas. Exploring later innovations in photographic processes, the book also highlights how photography became a critical vehicle through which artists began to use light itself as a medium, eschewing subject matter to create photographs that more closely resembled moving abstractions than still images. While early art–historical associations with light tend to be sublime or spiritual, by the 1960s artists including Dan Flavin (1933–96), James Turrell (b. 1943), and Lis Rhodes (b. 1942) had begun to work with artificial light to create new types of sculptures and immersive installations, repositioning the spectator as participant. Many artists, like Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) and Tacita Dean (b. 1965) continue to work with light, encouraging viewers to question their own positions and perspectives. Showcasing more than 100 remarkable artworks from the past 200 years, this beautiful book reveals how the intangibility of light continues to fascinate.
Kerryn Greenberg is an art historian and curator and former head of international collection exhibitions at Tate.
GLOBAL EXHIBITION: Inspired by an international touring exhibition of the same name.
CLASSIC SELECTION: Contains unique selection of works from the Tate collection that is sure to inspire and delight.
Featuring works by more than 40 artists including Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Turner, Constable, Kusama, and Bridget Riley.
A stunning exploration of an extraordinary and unique body of work
Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930–2017) was a Polish sculptor and fiber artist, most notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium. In the 1960s and 1970s she wove sisal in intense colors to create towering, hanging pieces that radically expanded the field of sculpture and installation art and catapulted the international fiber art movement. Known as Abakans, these “organic environments” carried many meanings and were often large in size, containing entanglements of ropes or dividing spaces. They were spaces to contemplate, to immerse oneself, to experience. Lavishly illustrated with immersive photography and stunning details, this beautiful book explores the unique nature of these monumental works and their impact as environmental sculpture. Considering the relationships between the Abakans and their forest–like atmosphere, as well as other key works, it reveals the artist’s broad interest in natural phenomena and folk–art traditions from different cultural backgrounds, and the mastery and determination of a woman artist who, despite the restrictions of living in Poland under an oppressive Communist regime, established a career as an international artist. Drawing on themes such as shamanism, female energy and power, pregnancy, and insights on human nature, the book highlights Abakanowicz’s pioneering contribution to installation art and the role of collaboration in her practice, while also contextualizing her work within the Polish art world and wider postwar Europe.
Ann Coxon is curator of displays and international art at Tate Modern. Mary Jane Jacob is an independent curator. MONUMENTAL WORKS: First publication to explore the impact of Abakans as environmental sculpture.
ACCLAIMED: Highlights Abakanowicz’s major contribution to the fields of sculpture, installation art, and the international fiber art movement.
PIONEER OF FIBER SCULPTURE
ART: Includes newly commissioned immersive photography and gorgeous, textural details.