Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History

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9780847822485: Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History

The first history of lesbian art in the United States, this volume documents works since 1970 within the context of gay culture and political activism. Authoritative and engaging, this is a "from the trenches" story of which women made what, when, and where. Hammond moves from the mainstream art world to alternative venues, weaving a compelling narrative complete with critical and theoretical discourse. Profiles of 18 prominent lesbian artists, from Kate Millett and Joan Snyder to Deborah Kass and Catherine Opie, complete this groundbreaking contribution to contemporary art history.

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Review:

It is no surprise to see a photograph by Catherine Opie on the front of this handsome and groundbreaking volume on lesbian art. Opie is now represented in most of the best public collections in America, and her inclusion, along with the current rise of Nicole Eisenman, suggests that the market for specifically lesbian imagery (as opposed to erotica, which has always had an audience) has finally widened to include the great art institutions that still set the canon for contemporary art. Although the text of Harmony Hammond's wonderfully rich book is a little too dense for casual consumption, the history she offers--especially of the middle decade represented here, the 1980s, with its porn wars and the emergence of both postmodernism and postfeminism alongside a remarkable boom in the art market--can be found nowhere else, and certainly not in so graceful a form, lavishly illustrated and perceptively annotated. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

A member of the first generation of post-Stonewall, gay and lesbian artists, Harmony Hammond was a founder of the pioneering feminist gallery A.I.R. in 1972 and a cofounder of Heresies magazine in 1976. She is now on the faculty of the art department of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

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