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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Girls! Girls! Girls! In Contemporary Art


Since the 1990s, female artists have led the contemporary art world in the creation of art depicting female adolescence, producing challenging, critically debated, and avidly collected artworks that are driving the current and momentous shift in the perception of women in art. Girls! Girls! Girls! presents essays from established and up-and-coming scholars who address a variety of themes, including narcissism, nostalgia, postfeminism, and fantasy with the goal of approaching the overarching question of why female artists are turning in such numbers to the subject of girls—and what these artistic explorations signify. Artists discussed include Anna Gaskell, Marlene McCarty, Sue de Beer, Miwa Yanagi, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Collier Schorr, and more.
            Contributors include Lucy Soutter, Harriet Riches, Maud Lavin, Taru Elfving, Kate Random Love, and Carol Mavor.

188 pages | 32 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2011

Art: Art Criticism

Women's Studies

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“Tracking the figure of the girl across the fields of contemporary art and film, this book moves effortlessly between cultural criticism, art history, and feminist theory. Be forewarned, however: the girls in contemporary art are anything but docile or well-behaved. From baby butches to bad girls, from reluctant Lolitas to hysterical orphans, these girls make terrific trouble in the lavishly imagined worlds they inhabit. And the women who do that imagining? They are some of the leading artists and filmmakers of our day. And thanks to Girls! Girls! Girls!, they get their critical due.”

Richard Meyer, University of Southern California

“Girls! Girls! Girls! is the missing link in the new feminist art history/criticism. It engages with that crucial and ambiguous period where children become women. In a way, one might say that girlhood lies at the root of Freud’s question ‘what do women want?,’ and at the same time that it mystifies this originary moment in women’s history. These texts hit the crucial questions in girl representation, running the whole gamut from charm to hysteria to murder.”

Linda Nochlin, New York University

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Girl in Contemporary Art
      Catherine Grant and Lori Waxman

Through the Looking-Glass with Heart-Shaped Sunglasses: Searching for Alice and Lolita in Contemporary Representations of Girls
      Lori Waxman
Dial ’P’ for Panties: Narrative Photography in the 1990s (with a New Afterword by the Author)
      Lucy Soutter
Girlish Games: Playfulness and ’Drawingness’ in the Work of Francesca Woodman and Lucy Gunning
      Harriet Riches
Marlene McCarty’s Murder Girls
      Maud Lavin
Haunted: Writing with the Girl
      Taru Elfving
Oh Mother Where Art Thou? Sue de Beer’s Hysterical Orphan Girls
      Kate Random Love
Mi-girl, Mi-kick, Mi-fire, Mi-sin, Mi-soul, MI-WA: A Fairy Tale in Blue
      Carol Mavor
Baby Butches and Reluctant Lolitas: Collier Schorr and Hellen van Meene
      Catherine Grant

Author Biographies

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