In Real Life: Six Women Photographers

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9780823414987: In Real Life: Six Women Photographers
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Groundbreaking photographs in both color and black-and-white are reproduced alongside a lively and informative text that recounts the inspiring lives of six women who left indelible imprints on their craft. By the author of Visions: Stories about Women Artists.

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About the Author:

Leslie Sills is a sculptor whose work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and other museums and galleries throughout the country. She has lectured on art and writing at museums, art schools, universities, colleges, and public schools. Her highly acclaimed books include "'Inspirations: Stories about Women Artists"', and ALA Notable Book for Children and a Booklist Editor's Choice' and "'Visions: Stories about Women Artists"', an ALA Notable Book for Children, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Booklist Editor's Choice. Her website is www.lesliesills.com, and she lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

Sills's (Inspirations: Stories About Women Artists) eye-opening introduction to a half-dozen strong, often pioneering women photographers focuses on how their lives, experiences and imaginations influenced their work. At the beginning of the century, Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) staged deliberate and stylized compositions that proved photographs could not only record real life but also "be an artist's creation." (O'Keeffe fans can't help but notice the similarity between Cunningham's photograph Magnolia Blossom, 1925 and the painter's close-ups of flowers; the two artists were contemporaries.) Dorothea Lange's (1895-1965) photographs, on the other hand, were deemed "documentary." Her work chronicling Dust Bowl casualties and the plight of sharecroppers during the Depression precipitated government relief in the form of food and improved living facilities. Lola Alvarez Bravo (1907-1993) wanted her work to lovingly "stand for a Mexico that once existed," as she photographed a post-revolution Mexico. She acknowledges a debt to her painter friends, such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Jos Clemente Orozco (who taught her about light, composition, etc.). For the three modern photographers included, Sills offers much less biographical information and therefore readers may feel more distanced from them. Still, she makes a strong case for the contributions of Carrie Mae Weems, perhaps best known for a series of photos that takes a critical look at the way U.S. culture views African Americans in "American Icons" (1988-1989); and of Elsa Dorfman, whose friendship with the Beat poets inspired her to record "everyday life." In perhaps the most accessible example for young readers, Sills makes the connection between Cindy Sherman's childhood love for playacting and dress-up, and her famous staged self-portraits, each of which hint at a mysterious story. Supported throughout by well-chosen selections of each woman's work, this attractive volume may inspire a new generation to take up the camera. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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