A thematic exploration of nearly 50 female artists who choose women as subject matter in their works, Women Painting Women includes nearly 50 portraits that span the 1960s to the present. International in scope, the book recognizes female perspectives that have been underrepresented in the history of postwar figuration. Painting is the focus, as traditionally it has been a privileged medium for portraiture, particularly for white male artists. The artists here use painting and women as subject matter and as vehicles for change. They range from early trailblazers such as Emma Amos and Alice Neel to emerging artists such as Jordan Casteel, Somaya Critchlow and Apolonia Sokol. All place women—their bodies, gestures and individuality—at the forefront.
The pivotal narrative in Women Painting Women is how the artists included use the conventional portrait of a woman as a catalyst to tell another story outside of male interpretations of the female body. They conceive new ways to activate and elaborate on the portrayal of women by exploring themes of the Body, Nature Personified, Selfhood and Color as Portrait. Replete with complexities, realness, abjection, beauty, complications, everydayness and joy, the portraits in this volume make way for women artists to share the stage with their male counterparts in defining the image of woman and how it has evolved.