Madam and Eve

The book Madam and Eve by Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano is a selection of female artists in which the authors choose a single piece of their work that would fit into the book’s subtitle Women Portraying Women. Some of you may recognise Kathleen Soriano as one of the judges from Sky Arts Landscape or Portrait Artist of the Year programmes.

This book covers over 200 artists mainly from the late 20th century onwards. It makes sense that the art is from this era as the authors wanted to link the works with the rise of the feminist movement during this time period.

I need to add an authors note at this point, that all the works featured are in the “Western” art category. For artists from other cultures to be included would have made a much bigger book and the authors did not want to do that. However, they have not ruled out a follow up volume to cover the bits of the world that are missing.

It has been curious to me why “Western” art is considered far more superior than other regions. Commanding the highest auction prices and best places in art galleries.

Getting back to the book and I have to say there is a lot to take in. Not just because there are so many artists but the variety of what has been created. There is live performance, moving image, photography, sculpture and paintings. Often the pieces are humorous. Sometimes sad or strange. They maybe abstract or so realistic that it touches a nerve. Always thought provoking.

Some of the artists in the book I have heard of before but there are a lot that I haven’t. Which is an aim of the book. To get lesser known names more well known.

If you are new to this site, I have done reviews of books which showcase the work of female creators. You can read them here and here. I have to admit that this is, so far, the best book I have purchased that collates into one publication the work of women artists.

Madam and Eve published by Laurence King.