An Intimate Distance: Women, Artists, and the Body

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Art - 240 pages
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How have women artists taken possession of the female body? What is the relationship between looking and embodiment in art made by women? In a series of original readings of the work of artists from Kathe Kollwitz and Georgia O'Keeffe to Helen Chadwick and Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, Rosemary Betterton explores how women artists have addressed the changing relationship between women, the body and its representation in art. In detailed critical essays that range from the analysis of maternal imagery in the work of German artists at the turn of the century to the unrepresented body in contemporary abstract painting, Betterton argues that women's art practices offer new ways of engaging with our fascinations with and fears about the female body. Reflecting the shift within feminist art over the last decade, An Intimate Distance sets the reinscription of the body within women's art practice in the context of current debates on the body, including reproductive science, maternal subjectivity and the concept of 'body horror' in relation to food, ageing and sex. Drawing on recent theories of embodiment developed within feminist philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, the essays reveal how the permeable boundaries between nature and culture, the female body and technology are being crossed in the work of women artists.

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About the author (1996)

Rosemary Betterton is Reader in Women's Studies, Lancaster University.

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