The Great Mother (Paperback)

Women, Maternity, and Power in Art and Visual Culture, 1900-2015

By Massimiliano Gioni

Skira, 9788857228600, 400pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

List Price: 45.00*
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Through the work of over eighty international artists, The Great Mother aims to analyze the iconography of motherhood in art and visual culture during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from early avant-garde movements to the present. Whether as a symbol of creativity or as a metaphor for art itself, the archetype of the mother has been a central figure in the history of art, from the Venuses of the stone age to the "bad girls" of the postfeminist era and across centuries of religious works depicting countless maternity scenes. The more familiar version of "mother" has also become a stereotype closely tied to Italy. In attempting to analyze the portrayal of motherhood, The Great Mother traces a history of female empowerment, chronicling gender struggles, sexual politics, and tensions between tradition and emancipation. The volume combines past and present, juxtaposing contemporary art, historical works, and artifacts from film and literature, weaving a rich tapestry of associations and images. Artists include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ida Applebroog, Thomas Bayrle, Umberto Boccioni, Louise Bourgeois, Constantin Brancusi, Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dalí, and many more.

About the Author

Massimiliano Gioni, Italian art critic and curator, is the Director of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, as well as the Artistic Director of the New Museum in New York.

Praise For The Great Mother: Women, Maternity, and Power in Art and Visual Culture, 1900-2015

"The exceptional diversity of images and mediums skillfully tackles the complexity of visual culture, and is paralleled by the quality of the images that are intimately connected to each of the chapters. . . [The Great Mother], while diverse and intense, is very accessible and would appeal to a wide range of students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. . . The book's strength lies in the ability for the chapters to stand alone yet as a whole as is an invaluable reference."