The Art of Women in Contemporary China: Both Sides Now
This book presents in eight chapters the work of over 75 Chinese female artists, both pictorial and poetic. Their art is viewed within a framework of eight themes. The broad topics explored include the body; life; the representation of the experience of being a woman; home and the world; a view of children and other women; clothes; social conscience; fantasy; and abstraction—nonfigurative work and its viability as a medium to express the spiritual. These themes provide several lenses through which to enjoy and compare these artists’ approaches and outputs.
The volume is unique in its inclusion of poetry by contemporary women whose voices articulate so many of the same concerns as the visual artists. In China, poetry has always been the prime form of artistic expression, and it remains so today. Looking at this poetry affords us a different means of appreciating the art of women in contemporary society.
Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She has held the Oskar Munsterberg Chair of Asian Art at Bard College, New York, since 1988 and has been Adjunct Professor at Lehman College, City College of New York since 1994. She was assistant editor, co-editor, and editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions from 1991 to 1998, and has published numerous books and articles on medieval Chinese religious art and a multitude of articles on contemporary art in such journals as Yishu and the Journal of Contemporary Art.
Zhang Er is a poet and opera librettist. She has published six collections of poetry in Chinese, most recently Closest to You <离你最近>. Her most recent English-language book is First Mountain (2018), a collaborative work with American poet Joseph Donahue. She co-edited and participated in the translation of the bilingual volume, Another Kind of Nation: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry. She also writes opera libretti in English for American composers, several of which have been premiered in the USA.
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