Since the 1970s Rosalind Krauss has been exploring the art of painters, sculptors, and photographers, examining the intersection of these artists’ concerns with the major currents of postwar visual culture. These essays on nine women artists are framed by the question, born of feminism, “What evaluative criteria can be applied to women’s art?” In the case of surrealism, in particular, some have claimed that surrealist women artists must either redraw the lines of their practice or participate in the movement’s misogyny. Krauss resists that claim, for these “bachelors” are artists whose expressive strategies challenge the very ideals of unity and mastery identified with masculinist aesthetics. Some of this work (such as that of Louise Bourgeois or Cindy Sherman) could be said to find its power in strategies associated with such concepts as écriture feminine. Bachelors attempts to do justice to these and other artists (Claude Cahun, Dora Maar, Louise Lawler, Francesca Woodman) in the terms their works demand.

Rosalind E. Krauss, University Professor at Columbia University and an editor and cofounder of October magazine, is the author of The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (1985), The Optical Unconscious (1993), The Picasso Papers (1999), and Bachelors (1999), all published by the MIT Press, and coauthor (with Yve-Alain Bois) of Formless: A User’s Guide (Zone Books, 1997).

“[S]timulating, difficult, and often dazzling…Bachelors is a smart and often profound book that makes avaluable contribution to the gendered field it abhors.” Carol Zemel, Women’s Review of Books.

Contents: By way of introduction, Claude Cahun and Dora Maar; portrait of the artist as “fillette”, Louise Bourgeois; the “cloud”, Agnes Martin; contingent, Eva Hesse; untitled, Cindy Sherman; problem sets, Francesca Woodman; bachelors, Sherrie Levine; souvenir memories, Louise Lawler.

Bachelors by Rosalind E. Krauss
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