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Other titles in the Critical Lives series:
Frida Kahlo (Critical Lives)by Gannit Ankori
Synopses & Reviews
Turmoil and violence have defined the lives of Palestinian people over the last few decades, yet in the midst of the chaos artists live and thrive, creating little-seen work that is a powerful response to their situation. Gannit Ankori's Palestinian Art is the first in-depth English-language assessment of contemporary Palestinian art, and it offers an unprecedented and wholly original overview of this art in all its complexity.
Ankori comprehensively traces the full history and development of Palestinian art, from its roots in folk art and traditional Christian and Islamic painting to the predominance of nationalistic themes and diverse media used today. Drawing on over a decade of extensive research, studio visits, and interviews, Ankori explores the vast oeuvre of prominent contemporary Palestinian artists, navigating between the personal and biographical dimensions of specific artworks and the symbolic meanings embedded within them. She provides detailed interpretations of many works and considers the complex historical, geographical, political, and cultural contexts in which the art was created. Questions of gender, exile, colonialism, postcolonialism, and hybridity are integral to Ankori's investigation as she probes the influence and thematic dominance of issues such as rootedness and displacement in Palestinian art.and#160;
Palestinian Art is a fascinating introduction to a virtually unknown visual culture that has been subsumed under the torrent of current political turmoil. A groundbreaking and essential work of art scholarship, Palestinian Art illuminates new and unique facets of the Palestinian cultural identity.
Frida Kahlo stepped into the limelight in 1929 when she married Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. She was twenty-two; he was forty-three. Hailed as Riveraandrsquo;s exotic young wife who andldquo;dabbles in art,andrdquo; she went on to produce brilliant paintings but remained in her husbandandrsquo;s shadow throughout her life. Today, almost six decades after her untimely death, Kahloandrsquo;s fame rivals that of Rivera and she has gained international acclaim as a path-breaking artist and a cultural icon.
Cutting through andldquo;Fridamania,andrdquo; this book explores Kahloandrsquo;s life, art, and legacies, while also scrutinizing the myths, contradictions, and ambiguities that riddle her dramatic story. Gannit Ankori examines Kahloandrsquo;s early childhood, medical problems, volatile marriage, political affiliations, religious beliefs, and, most important, her unparalleled and innovative art. Based on detailed analyses of the artistandrsquo;s paintings, diary, letters, photographs, medical records, and interviews, the book also assesses Kahloandrsquo;s critical impact on contemporary art and culture.
and#160;Kahlo was of her time, deeply immersed in the issues that dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, as this book reveals, she was also ahead of her time. Her paintings challenged social norms and broke taboos, addressing themes such as the female body, gender, cross-dressing, hybridity, identity, and trauma in ways that continue to inspire contemporary artists across the globe. Frida Kahlo is a succinct and powerful account of the life, art and legacy of this iconic artist.
During Frida Kahlo’s life, she was mostly known for being the wife of fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera. It was only after her untimely death in 1954 that she became an icon, a legend of modern art, venerated for her uncompromising self-portraits. But while Kahlo has become a posthumous celebrity, much of her life—and especially her death—remains shrouded in mystery. In this concise biography of the painter, Gannit Ankori cuts through “Fridamania” to scrutinize the myths and contradictions that riddle her story and assess her impact on contemporary art and culture.
In addition to interviewing Kahlo’s surviving friends and relatives, Ankori analyzes her work, diary, letters, photographs, and medical records to reconstruct her life. She probes Kahlo’s relationships with her family, husband, friends, and doctors, as well as her status as a communist and Mexican patriot and her mixed heritage. Examining the near-fatal car accident Kahlo survived at age eighteen, Ankori explores how her health problems isolated her from people and influenced her work. She also delves into Kahlo’s connection with various religious traditions and the way she constructed multiple identities and gender roles.
Ultimately, Ankori reveals, Kahlo was both of her time and ahead of it, and the themes she engaged in her paintings—gender, cross-dressing, identity politics, the body, and religion—became significant issues decades after her death. Casting new light on the reasons for her posthumous status, Frida Kahlo is an original and succinct account of her life, work, and legacy.
About the Author
Gannit Ankori is professor of art history and theory at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and the author of Palestinian Art, also published by Reaktion Books.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Artist as Mythmaker; Fissured Tales of Art and Life
1 Family Tree: andldquo;My Grandparents, My Parents and Iandrdquo;
2 Childhood Traumas: The Broken Body, the Doubled Self
3 On the Cusp of Womanhood
4 Coming of Age
5 andldquo;The Lost Desireandrdquo;: Relinquishing Maternity
6 andldquo;Double Sorrowandrdquo;: Losing and Finding Love
7 andldquo;Where is the andlsquo;Iandrsquo;?andrdquo;: Losing and Finding her Selves
8 andldquo;Everything is All and Oneandrdquo;: Losing and Finding Faith
9 andldquo;I am the Disintegrationandrdquo;: The Waning of Life
10 Of her Time; Ahead of her Time
Postscript: Frida Kahloandrsquo;s Art, Life and Legacy
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