This superbly conceived publication looks at nine women artists whose careers were devoted primarily to portraiture, analyzing both the work they produced and the unique ways in which each artist captured her subjects' likenesses and the spaces they inhabited.
These artists represent the development of modernist art since 1870; each has made significant contributions to art history as they complicate long-held notions of the gaze and explore the relationship between the self, the subject and the artist.
Close-Up examines women painters and photographers who are known primarily for self-portraiture, such as Paula Modersohn-Becker, Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman; it also looks at female artists who depicted the daily lives of women and children in a creative environment that was largely disinterested in such subjects, such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt and Lotte Laserstein. Still other women--Alice Neel, Marlene Dumas and Elizabeth Peyton--embrace familiarity completely and depict friends and family as well as famous figures in their paintings.
In essays by nine different authors, these artists and their subjects are considered individually and as part of a chronology of modern portraiture, with an emphasis on the dynamics of gender.