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Women’s work is never done: a trio of art books showcasing women

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One of many happy results of the publishing industry’s push for greater inclusivity: more art books showcasing not just women’s art, but women’s capabilities.

Three recent standouts feature female subjects of every shape and hue from all over the world, doing the things that women have historically done — and also the things that men have historically done. With few words, these books speak volumes. All would make great gifts. A look:

The Only Woman

In The Only Woman, Immy Humes has collected 100 mainly black and white group photographs that feature a lone, trailblazing woman “who claimed space in a man’s world.”

There are familiar faces among these standouts, including banker Christine Lagarde, Pakistan Prime Minister Benazhir Bhutto, writer and wit Dorothy Parker, and Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. A young Frida Kahlo looks tiny beside her enormous husband-to-be, Diego Rivera, photographed with a contingent of all-male painters, sculptors and other arts workers at a 1929 May Day march in Mexico City. War correspondent Martha Gellhorn, in a no-nonsense trench coat, engages with soldiers on the Italian front a few months before D-day in 1944. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sits front row center at 10 Downing Street in a shirtwaist dress, flanked by the two dozen men in dark suits who made up her new cabinet in 1979.

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Even more fascinating are some of the stories behind lesser known female vanguards — including a shipyard worker, a race car driver, a gold miner, and several scientists, nurses, and medical students. Clarissa Wimbush stands out as the only female member of Virginia’s all-Black Old Dominion Dental Association in 1961, as does Gloria Richardson, the only woman at a meeting of Black Civil Rights leaders with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in 1963.

The solo woman at the 1946 assembly of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (yes, really) is easy to spot because of her elaborate hat. But other “Onlys” are harder to pinpoint in these crowded, small format reproductions — lending Humes’ book a fun Where’s “Walda” vibe at times.

Women Holding Things

Women Holding Things combines so many wonderful elements of Maira Kalman’s work: her uncanny ability to balance whimsy and worry, simplicity and depth — and thoughts both mundane and philosophical in spare text and colorful paintings, which often channel Matisse. This volume is an expanded version of a self-published booklet Kalman produced during the pandemic to raise funds to combat hunger.

Unusual for Kalman, the text is typeset rather than handwritten, but the book’s jacket copy features her appealing, irregularly capitalized hand lettering. It sets the tone: “You hold in your hands a thing I hold most dear. A Book. If there was ever a time to hold onto SOMEthing, this is it. Hold on, dear friends. Hold on.” (Spoiler alert: The charming back jacket reads, “One more Thought. Along with holding on, you could also LET GO. But that is ANOTHER BOOK.”)

In paintings bright with jewel-toned pinks, reds, and greens, there are women holding red balloons, tea cups, and garden shears. Several visitors to a museum sculpture garden are holding opinions about modern art, while others are holding court or holding wolves at bay. With Kalman’s typical wry wit, stolid Gertrude Stein is depicted at her desk, “holding true to herself writing things very few people liked or even read.” A tense Virginia Woolf is shown as “barely holding it together.”

Like The Principles of Uncertainty, in which Kalman touted the benefits of “meaningful distraction” in the face of a troubling, often unfathomable world, Women Holding Things ventures into autobiographical material. An atypically dark painting depicts a mother holding the hand of her child as they are being shot by Nazi soldiers in Belarus during the Holocaust — which is what happened to the family Kalman’s father left behind when he emigrated to Palestine before the war. A painting of two girls in identical yellow dresses that also appeared in Uncertainty, now carries the rubric, “women holding a grudge,” along with the story behind the lifelong animosity between Kalman’s mother-in-law and her twin sister.

Of course, Women Holding Things is also filled with many of the things Kalman holds dear and loves to paint — chairs, hats, parks, gardens, ruby red bowls of cherries, vases of red, pink and yellow anemones. In portraits of women holding everything from dog leashes and whisks to malicious opinions, Kalman’s latest offers an encouraging paean to fortitude and perseverance.

Great Women Painters

Great Women]Painters, which complements Phaidon’s Great Women Artists and last year’s Woman Made: Great Women Designers, showcases more than 300 painters born in 60 countries during the 16th to 21st centuries. This handsome coffee table book is arranged alphabetically, from Pacita Abad and Mary Abbott to Marguerite Zorach and Portia Zvavahera.

You’ll find plenty of familiar names like Georgia O’Keeffe, Alice Neel, Gwen John, Hilma af Klint, and “the premiere Old Mistress superstar[s]” Artemisia Gentileschi and Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. But there are also lesser known artists like Dotty Attie, Anita Rée, Carmen Herrera, and Giulia Lama, and emerging stars like Dana Schutz, Jenny Saville, and Amy Sherald (who painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait) — which makes for a rich mix. Each artist is represented by one key painting and a short biographical note.

The goal, writes Alison M. Gingeras in her introduction, is to “renegotiate the canon” by “casting aside the yardstick of auction prices and the subjective categories of aesthetic beauty, technical mastery and ‘wall power.'” She argues that instead, “the calculus of valuation” needs to take into account the works’ historical context and intellectual content, and the “singularity and difference” of women artists.

There are delights in every era and genre. Some paintings, like Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,” Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” and Marilyn Minter’s extreme closeup of lips in “Big Red” are well-known. But surprises abound, not just from artists whose work I was not familiar with, but from lesser-known paintings by well-known artists. Mary Cassatt, often associated with her soft-focus Impressionist canvases of mothers and children, is represented by “In the Loge,” which features a woman gazing intently through opera glasses. Leonora Carrington’s “The Old Maids” depicts a sort of Surrealist tea party filled with creatures who might have stepped out of a fairy tale. In “The Only Blonde in the World,” British Pop artist Pauline Boty’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe in one of her best-known roles is set against an abstract background that suggests the divide between the actress’ public image and her private self.

Among contemporary works, I was particularly intrigued by Iranian-born Sanam Khatibi’s feminist twist on Renaissance pastorals in “Thirty Days of Hunger,” Latvian Ella Kruglyanskaya’s muscular joggers in “Exit in Flip Flops,” and one of Celia Paul’s haunting, earth-toned family portraits, “My Sisters in Mourning.”

Grandma Moses’ folk art “Summer Party” presents a happier scene, and I was glad to be reminded that the late-blooming artist’s real name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses. The names and work of all these painters deserve to be better known.

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Great news: The future of Catholic art is alive and well – Aleteia

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Amazing contemporary art is compiled into a gorgeous new volume … a wonderful thing for all fans of sacred art!

You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It’s free.

Sign up here

Take a walk through any art museum and you’ll see the glorious heritage of Catholic art. 

Catholic sacred art is central to the history of Western art. There are countless beautiful examples of art depicting Christ, the Bible, the saints and the angels in museums and churches all over the world.

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But most of these works were made centuries ago, and we might wonder whether they will be followed by anything comparable in our present age. After all, much of modern art doesn’t exactly inspire a sense of admiration for truth, beauty and goodness.

The good news is that the future of Catholic sacred art is alive and well. And there are plenty of examples to show you.

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St. Charles Lwanga

Neilson Carlin | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

One of today’s great artists, Marco Caratelli, lives and works in Siena, Italy. He specializes in the rare, ancient and beautiful egg-yolk tempera technique. His work draws comparisons to Fra Angelico and other all-time great artists.

Another is Christopher Alles, a sculptor of sacred art who works in Poughkeepsie, New York. He studied European sacred art in Italy, and today, his award-winning work is both inspired by and reminiscent of Michelangelo.

Even closer to home, there are a number of contemporary Catholic artists producing truly extraordinary works. Samples of their work are now compiled into a breathtaking new volume … a wonderful thing for all fans of sacred art!

Catholic Home Gallery

Courtesy of Ignatius Press

This new art collection, The Catholic Home Gallery, makes it clear that Catholic art is not something of the past. The volume showcases 18 works of sacred art by contemporary artists, revealing the beautiful diversity of their impressive talents.

The nine artists represented in the volume are Matthew Alderman, Neilson Carlin, Bernadette Carstensen, Matthew Conner, Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs, James Janknegt, Timothy Jones, Michael D. O’Brien, and Elizabeth Zelasko. The collection is the perfect introduction to their work, and can be a jumping-off point for exploring it in greater depth.

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Timothy Jones | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

The editor of the collection is John Herreid, a graphic designer and illustrator for Ignatius Press. He brought a discerning and experienced eye to choosing the artwork for the collection. 

Herreid explained some of the inspiration behind the collection, saying, “Most people are familiar with great Catholic art from ages past. But what many don’t realize is that we have many, many great Catholic visual artists working today. My hope for The Catholic Home Gallery is that it will introduce people to a few of these artists, as well as lead them to seek out, discover, and support others!”

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James B. Janknegt | Courtesy of Ignatius Press

He has been moved to see the positive response to the volume, saying:

It’s been extremely heartening to see the response The Catholic Home Gallery has generated thus far. It shows that, far from being a static heirloom from the past, Catholic sacred art is an ongoing, dynamic force that can’t help but move those who encounter it.

Best of all, each work in the collection is printed on an 8” x 10” detachable page, so you can easily remove it from the book and frame it in your home. What a perfect way to build your own collection of sacred art!

Jack Terzian
ARTIST

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France buys new masterpiece for Orsay museum with LVMH gift – CP24

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The Associated Press


Published Monday, January 30, 2023 8:14AM EST


Last Updated Monday, January 30, 2023 8:14AM EST

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PARIS (AP) — France has acquired a stunning Impressionist masterpiece for its national collection of art treasures, with a donation from luxury goods giant LVMH paying the 43 million euros (nearly $47 million) for “A Boating Party” by 19th-century French artist Gustave Caillebotte.

The oil on canvas shows an oarsman in a top hat rowing his skiff on languid waters. The work, remarkable in its realism, delicate colors and almost cinematic perspective, as though the artist was in the boat with the rower, went on display Monday in the Musée d’Orsay. It is the latest addition to the Paris museum’s already impressive collection of Impressionist art.

The painting was sold by Caillebotte’s descendants. It had been one of the last Impressionist masterpieces still in private hands, said Jean-Paul Claverie, an adviser to LVMH boss Bernard Arnault.

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Builder's clothing drive, tiny art show in Cowichan – Victoria Times Colonist – Times Colonist

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Builder’s clothing drive to boost families in need

Donations of gently used clothing, shoes and ­accessories for all ages and sizes are being sought for a clothing drive hosted by LIDA Homes, now until Jan. 31.

All donated items will be given to Our Place Society to be distributed to families in need in the community.

“As a community-focused business, we feel it is our responsibility to give back to the families and ­individuals who have supported us throughout the years,” said Dave Stephens, president of LIDA Homes. “We hope that this clothing drive will make a ­meaningful impact on those in need and encourage ­others to do their part as well.”

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Stephens has also issued a challenge to other ­builders to see who can collect the most clothing and have ­bragging rights.

The hashtag #LIDAclothingdrive has been created to encourage everyone to use it in their social media posts.

Donations will be accepted at LIDA Homes, 6015 Patricia Bay Hwy.

Tiny art show in Cowichan

More than 100 original artworks will be up for auction at the Six by Six Art Show and Auction, a special one-week fundraiser for the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Feb. 3 to 11.

The name for the show stems from the fact that each of the locally produced original artworks is limited to six by six inches in size. In addition to paintings, the show includes some sculptures.

Janet Magdanz, president of the group, says working at that scale can be a real challenge for artists used to creating larger pieces.

”Yet our talented local artists have produced some outstanding work, creating landscapes, abstracts and pieces both whimsical and thoughtful,” she said. “For buyers, the auction is a chance to pick up a small piece of work by a professional artist at a great price.”

The art will be available to view and bid on both online and in person, with bids starting at $30.

Proceeds from the auction will support and expand the art council’s youth programs and bringing regional shows to the gallery.

The finale of the week-long event will be a gala reception featuring live jazz, gourmet food and a cash bar, at the gallery Saturday, Feb. 11. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling the office at 250-746-1633 or at cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca.

In your neighbourhood

Victoria council has voted to increase the maximum amount available for its My Great Neighbourhood Grants to $7,500 for placemaking and resiliency projects and up to $1,500 for activities in 2023.

The money is expected to support up to 36 community projects.

“The My Great Neighbourhood Grant program is incredibly important during these times when community is coming together again,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “It is exciting to see residents start to reconnect with the goal of adding vibrancy and resiliency to their neighbourhoods.”

The funds are contingent upon matching equivalent contributions from applicants, including volunteer time and in-kind donations.

Grants are available to residents and community groups in the city. Not-for-profit organizations, schools or groups of residents can apply, although a sponsor is required for those without not-for-profit status.

In 2022, the city funded 13 community activities, 12 placemaking projects and 11 community resiliency projects.

Intake for the 2023 program will open in April, with city staff available to help residents through the application process.

Opera’s the ticket

Pacific Opera Victoria is making a night at the opera more attainable by distributing more than 1,000 free tickets to more than 40 community organizations for a second year.

The organizations hand out the tickets to members of the community who may be experiencing barriers, giving them the opportunity to attend one of three Pacific Opera’s 2022/23 mainstage live performances at the Royal Theatre.

“The North Park Neighbourhood Association was thrilled to participate in Pacific Opera’s Ticket Access Program,” said Sarah Murray, executive director of the association. “This program eliminates financial barriers to access, making Victoria’s thriving arts and culture scene a more equitable and inclusive space.”

Community organizations interested in taking part in the program should contact Pacific Opera. More information about the program is available at pacificopera.ca/ticket-access-program.

Art for Prospect Lake

The Prospect Lake District Community Association is looking for donations of artwork for its upcoming Art at the Lake fundraising online auction.

Proceeds from the event will be used for the maintenance of the heritage Prospect Lake Hall on the Saanich Peninsula, one of the last community-owned and maintained halls in British Columbia.

“Downsizing or just tired of looking at certain pieces? Give your old art pieces new life by donating them to Art at the Lake,” said Barbara Newton, a volunteer organizing the sale.

The association is looking for donations of any type of art — prints, watercolours, pastels, oils, posters, collectibles, statuary, vases or objects d’art.

• To donate, email jackie.wrinch@shaw.ca or telephone Mavis at 250-361-3236 by March 19.

$400M recovery fund

Community service organizations, non-profit organizations, Indigenous governing bodies and charities on Southern Vancouver Island and the Cowichan Valley can apply for funding through the federal government’s $400-million Community Services Recovery Fund, now until Feb. 21.

The money will help fund one-time projects focused on people, systems and program innovation. Organizations can apply for one of two tiers. Tier one includes funding ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, while tier two covers $100,001 to $200,000 for applicants that meet specific criteria.

United Way Southern Vancouver Island, the Canadian Red Cross and the Victoria Foundation will accept applications locally.

All unincorporated non-profits should apply to the Canadian Red Cross for funding for one-time projects that focus on how organizations recruit, retain, engage and support their personnel, including staff, volunteers and boards of directors.

Apply to the Victoria Foundation with projects that invest in systems and processes involved in creating the internal workings of an organization’s overall structure.

The United Way Southern Vancouver Island will accept applications for funding to support projects primarily focused on program and service innovation and redesign using information gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“United, we champion initiatives, programs, and projects that integrate and make a significant, positive change in people’s lives,” said Danella Parks, director of community impact with United Way Southern Vancouver Island. “As society recovers and rebuilds, United Way is honoured to support this investment by the Government of Canada with a focus on program and service innovation and redesign in the nonprofit sector.”

• For more information, go to communityservicesrecoveryfund.ca.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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