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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Strong Women for Art

In Conversation with Anna Lenz

Who are the spouses and lifelong partners of important contemporary artists? What attitudes and actions characterize the lives of these fascinating companions, many of whom are influential artists or arts professionals in their own right?

To begin to offer an answer to this question, longtime art collector Anna Lenz conducted twenty interviews with the life partners and wives of well-known contemporary artists, including, among many others, Elizabeth Goldring-Piene, wife of German multimedia artist Otto Piene; Karin Girke, widow to the late painter Raimund Girke; Rotraut Klein-Moquay, artist and wife of Yves Klein; and art historian and critic Antje von Graevenitz, wife of op-artist and cofounder of the New Tendency movement Gerhard von Graevenitz. With photographs by Roswitha Pross, the interviews are presented here, offering insight into the women’s biographies and their lives with the artists. With great openness, Lenz’s interview subjects speak of their families, life plans, and their own professional trajectories, as well as their initial meetings and long-term relationships with the artists. Together, the interviews offer an insightful—and highly personal—piece of contemporary art history.

296 pages | 155 color plates | 6 2/3 x 9 1/2 | © 2013

Art: Art--General Studies

Biography and Letters

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“In compiling interviews of the women companions of artists of the Zero movement, this volume handles a unique subject in an interesting way. . . . Telling readers about her subjects on a very personal level,
Lenz highlights the strength and influence of these women both personally and as part of a couple. . . . Recommended.”


Table of Contents


The urge to keep on working,

to write, has always been with me

Antje von Graevenitz

From the kind of rustling, Holweck always knew

very well whether I was in good form

Christiane Mewes-Holweck

We’re in a family business

Christine Uecker

It’s great good fortune to live together for so long

Danielle Morellet

I never get bored

Edith Talman

Some days Otto and I think that together we SEE it all!

Elizabeth Goldring-Piene

For me he’s not an artist, but a man

Essila Paraiso

I prefer the visual; I can deal

with it better than the auditive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Franziska Megert

“My wife earns our daily bread,

and I earn the bread rolls for Sunday”

Gertrud Bartels

I wanted to gather knowledge, attain insights

Hannelore Ditz

For myself I wish a place for books, art and friends

Karin Girke

All this is absolutely my life

Kitty Kemr

Dani Franque – a brief portrait as related by her daughter

Léonore Verheyen

I love enjoying life

Marie-Madeleine Opalka

With my ideas I was always a bit too early:

That was my problem

Nanda Vigo

Intuition is our authentic well-spring

Rotraut Klein-Moquay

If you’re happy, everything else falls into place

susanne de vries

I’ve always drawn the strength to cope

with everything else from painting

Uta Peyrer-Prantl

From the very beginning, I was always there-

seven days a week and at least eight hours a day

Ute Mack

At my age you can speak of dreams only with difficulty

Vlasta Prachatiká

List of Illustrations

Photo Credits


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