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Art: Gender, Sexuality, and Modern Art Reading List

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2022 11:34 AM


Contemporary Artists:

Abbott, Berenice: "American photographer. She spent a term at the Ohio State University in Columbus (1917–18) and then studied sculpture independently in New York (1918–21) where she met (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. She left the USA for Paris in 1921 where she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière before attending the Kunstschule in Berlin for less than a year in 1923. From 1924 to 1926 she worked as Man Ray’s assistant and first saw photographs by (Jean-)Eugène(-Auguste) Atget in Man Ray’s studio in 1925. Her first one-woman show, at the gallery Le Sacre du Printemps in Paris in 1926, was devoted to portraits of avant-garde personalities such as Jean Cocteau, James Joyce, and André Gide."

Barlow, Margaret. 2003 "Abbott, Berenice." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Bacon, Francis: "English painter. One of the most individual, powerful, and disturbing artists of the period following World War II, he took the human figure as his subject at a time when art was dominated by abstract styles, and he was also one of the first to depict overtly homosexual themes. Though largely self-taught, he was widely read and of great independence of mind. His subject-matter and procedures of painting are too personal to be imitated with any real success by other artists, but in Britain and further afield he remains a towering example to those dedicated to the depiction of the human figure."

Alley, Ronald. 2003 "Bacon, Francis." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Eisenman, Nicole: "French-born American painter and draftsman. Eisenman was born in France, where her father was stationed as an army psychiatrist, and grew up in Scarsdale, NY. In 1987 she earned her BFA in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. She then began creating an oeuvre of critically acclaimed paintings, murals, drawings, cartoons and illustrations that seamlessly weave together the subjects and symbols of art history, ancient mythology, popular culture and feminist inquiry. Eisenman also mined her own personal interests, humor and biography and in the process created unique, biting and purposefully anachronistic juxtapositions. Her wickedly witty works subvert culturally pervasive social and gender stereotypes."

Tinti, Mary M. 2011 "Eisenman, Nicole." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Gilbert & George: "British sculptors. Gilbert Proesch (b Dolomites, Italy, 17 Sept 1943) and George Passmore (b Plymouth, Devon, 8 Jan 1942) met in 1967 as students at St Martin’s School of Art in London. By 1969 they were reacting against approaches to sculpture then dominant at St Martin’s, which they regarded as elitist and poor at communicating outside an art context. Their strategy was to make themselves into sculpture, so sacrificing their separate identities to art and turning the notion of creativity on its head. To that end Gilbert and George became interchangeable cyphers and their surnames were dispensed with."

Wilson, Andrew. 2003 "Gilbert and George." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Gober, Robert: "American sculptor (see fig.; see image page for more views). He studied literature and then fine art at Middlebury College, VT (1972–6) and spent a year at the Tyler School of Art, Rome (1974–5). Gober settled in New York in 1976, where he earned a living building stretchers for artists, renovating lofts, and crafting doll’s houses. His first solo exhibition (1984) was at the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, where he exhibited Slides of a Changing Painting (80 slides, 1982–3; artist’s col.). For this work he mounted a camera directly above a small board, over which he painted images during one year, taking hundreds of slides documenting the life of the painting, which he later edited down. In its attention to the process of painting and transformation, Slides is considered important for his later works."

Barlow, Revised and updated by Margaret. 2003 "Gober, Robert." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Gonzalez-Torres, Felix: "American sculptor and photographer of Cuban birth. He moved in 1979 to New York, where he completed a BFA in photography at the Pratt Institute (1983) and an MFA at the International Center of Photography, New York University (1987), as well as enrolling in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. In 1987 he joined Group Material, a New York-based group of artists whose intention was to work collaboratively, adhering to principles of cultural activism and community education. His own engagement as a gay man with socio-political issues, as well as his exploration of the way in which politics can infiltrate personal life, forms the background to his work, centered around the interaction of public and private spheres."

Stonard, John-Paul. 2000 "Gonzalez-Torres, Felix." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Haring, Keith: "American painter. He graduated from Kutztown Area Senior High School in 1976 and spent some time travelling across America before studying at the Art Centre in Pittsburgh. In 1978 he moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts, where his original approach was soon apparent in graffiti-inspired symbols expanded into large-scale designs of generative energy. At the height of the Punk Rock movement in the late 1970s he participated in the lively New York club scene, working with such street artists as SAMO© (Jean-Michel Basquiat)."

2003 "Haring, Keith." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Hockney, David: "English painter, printmaker, photographer, and stage designer. Perhaps the most popular and versatile British artist of the 20th century, Hockney made apparent his facility as a draughtsman while studying at Bradford School of Art between 1953 and 1957, producing portraits and observations of his surroundings under the influence of the Euston Road School and of Stanley Spencer. From 1957 to 1959 he worked in hospitals as a conscientious objector to fulfill the requirements of national service. On beginning a three-year postgraduate course at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1959, he turned first to the discipline of drawing from life in two elaborate studies of a skeleton before working briefly in an abstract idiom inspired by the paintings of Alan Davie."

Livingstone, Marco. 2003 "Hockney, David." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Leibovitz, Annie: "American photographer. Born Anna-Lou Leibovitz, she was one of six siblings in a family that traveled extensively because her father was an officer in the US Air Force. Her mother, who taught modern dance, encouraged her daughter to pursue a career in the arts. While a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, Leibovitz at first focused on painting, but then she took a photography class that captivated her. After spending a brief period on a kibbutz in Israel, she earned her BFA in 1971. Leibovitz landed a job as a staff photographer with the new magazine Rolling Stone and began to document the rock music scene. For ten years Leibovitz was the publication’s chief photographer. In 1983 she began to work for Vanity Fair, photographing celebrities for numerous covers and feature articles and her work has been published in many other magazines."

Sider, Sandra. 2011 "Leibovitz, Annie." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Ligon, Glenn: "African American multimedia artist. His work deals with issues surrounding sexuality, race, identity, language and representation. Ligon attended the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980 but ultimately received a BA in 1982 from Wesleyan University in Middleton, CT. He subsequently participated in the Whitney Independent Studies program in 1985."

Yun, Michelle. 2011 "Ligon, Glenn." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Mapplethorpe, Robert: "American photographer, sculptor and collagist. In the early 1970s, after studying at the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn (1963–70), he produced a number of assemblages and collages from magazine photographs often altered by spray painting. In one such work, Julius of California (1971; Charles Cowles priv. col., see Marshall, p. 21), he drew a circle around the male figure’s genitals as a subversion of the usual practice of censorship. He soon began to take his own black-and-white photographs with a Polaroid camera, incorporating them into collages (e.g. Self-portrait, 1971; Charles Cowles priv. col., see Marshall, p. 17) or arranging them in sequences, as in Patti Smith (Don’t Touch here) (1973; artist’s col., see Marshall, p. 27), a portrait of the poet and singer who was one of his favourite models. Within a year of showing his Polaroids in his first solo show (New York, Light Gal., 1973) he began to use a large format press camera, followed soon afterwards by a Hasselblad. As his interest in photography increased, he looked more closely for guidance to such earlier photographers as Nadar, Julia Margaret Cameron and F. Holland Day. His photographs of the later 1970s include a number of homoerotic, sado-masochistic images, such as Helmut (1978; see Marshall, p. 70). Here, as in other works, the presentation of a carefully posed figure against a plain paper or cloth backdrop creates a strong formal structure in counterpoint to the shock value and intensity of the subject-matter. This formal emphasis is even more apparent in the flower and still-life works, such as Pan Head and Flower (1976; Holly Solomon priv. col., see Marshall, p. 46)."

Fontanella, Lee. 2003 "Mapplethorpe, Robert." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Muhol, Zanelei : "South African photographer and video and installation artist. Muholi has identified as a black Zulu lesbian and her artworks engage with her own identity at the same time as they seek to integrate LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) identities into mainstream acceptance in South Africa and elsewhere."

Kart, Susan. 2016 "Muholi, Zanele." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Sepuya, Paul Mpagi: "Informed by a critical understanding of art history, Paul Mpagi Sepuya deconstructs archetypal subjects like the male nude and self-portrait, meditating on the fragmentation of queer and photographed bodies. Manipulating perspective using mirrors, drapery, and collage, the Los Angeles-based photographer complicates subjective relationships within an image. The artist’s studio provides context for Sepuya’s site-specific commentary on portrait photography, the artistic process, and queer identities. Within this erotic queer space where experimentation is possible, Sepuya explores the tension between elusive desire and ambiguous sensuality. Sepuya wrote, “I want these queer, black photographs to exist within historic and contemporary conversations about photography as a whole, affirming the medium and my personal investment in its possible futures.”

"Paul Mpagi Sepuya." (accessed July 30, 2018).

Thomas, Mickalene: "Thomas received her BFA from the Pratt Institute in 2000 and her MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 2002. Following her graduate training she completed residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France. She is best known for monumental photographs and paintings that fuse the aesthetics of 1970s styled domestic interiors, Blaxploitation film, Black Power ideologies, and Western portraiture. Explicitly feminist, Thomas’s imagery interweaves set and costume design, photography, collage, painting, and rhinestone ornamentation to explore the visual textures of Black women’s identities by illuminating the plasticity of concepts such as beauty, femininity, sexuality, subjectivity, and power."

Morgan, Kelli. 2015 "Thomas, Mickalene." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Warhol, Andy: "American painter, printmaker, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, film maker, writer, and collector. After studying at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh from 1945 to 1949, he moved to New York and began working as a commercial artist and illustrator for magazines and newspapers. His work of the 1950s, much of it commissioned by fashion houses, was charming and often whimsical in tone, typified by outline drawings using a delicate blotted line that gave even the originals a printed appearance; a campaign of advertisements for the shoe manufacturers I. Miller & Sons in 1955–6 (Kornbluth, pp. 113–21) was particularly admired, helping to earn him major awards from the Art Directors Club."

Livingstone, Marco. 2003 "Warhol, Andy." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////

Wojnarowicz, David: "American painter, photographer, writer, film maker, performance artist, and gay rights activist. After an abusive and violent childhood, Wojnarowicz spent his teenage years as a male prostitute in the streets of New York City. He eventually attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and first became noticed as a graffiti artist by stencilling images of burning houses onto buildings in New York, for screening Super-8 films of abandoned buildings, and as a member of a punk band called 3 Teens Kill 4."

Ottmann, Klaus. 2013 "Wojnarowicz, David." Grove Art Online. 27 Jul. 2018. http:////