The history of art has, like so many other vocations, been mostly told by men. But assorted cultural and political revolutions over the course of the 20th century brought women decisively to the forefront, as their self-possession and sexual agency was channeled into era defining works of art, that sought to overturn the patriarchal cultural hierarchy.
Surely then, two decades into the 21st century, it was not unreasonable to believe that in America, the matter of a woman's domain over her own body had achieved a reliable forward momentum. Yet in 2020, we find that reproductive rights have again come under attack by regressive socio-political forces, perhaps fearing the relentless force of will of truly empowered women. And while the sheer numbers and intensity of the recent Women's Marches have proven that such a force can be effectively galvanized, individual female artists had really never stopped addressing that sense of empowerment in their work.
Within this tense but exciting new context, has come a provocative, revolutionary new art book, A Woman's Right to Pleasure, released this August 20, 2020 via BlackBook, Dr. Amir Marashi, LELO, and ACC Art Books. Along with the book, BlackBook will host a digital exhibition via BlackBook Presents and through a unique collaboration with artsy.net, the premier online gallery platform.
The word "warrior" is summoned regularly these days when referring to women in art, politics, activism...but it's possible that the most primal act of feminism is that of reminding the world that women are the irrefutable caretakers of their own bodies. And no matter how much regressive men (and their female apologists) attempt to usurp that control, we have come to know that it will only grow stronger, more intractable.
Photographer Reka Nyari celebrates that primalness in her new series, Ink Stories, on view at BlackBook Presents gallery beginning January 16, 2020.
We pour over the works of the great artists. Curators write rapturous descriptions of those same works and their supposed meanings. And critics surely analyze them far too vigorously. But what if we were able to really get inside of the minds of Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, Basquiat? How would it evolve the way we see both them and their art?
Those are the questions that New York painter John Ransom Phillips undertook - and fascinatingly succeeded - to answer with his revelatory new series, Lives of Artists - which will be on exhibit at the BlackBook Presents gallery in Brooklyn starting October 24.
Painter John Ransom Phillips has a new, breathtaking artistic tribute to Whitman on view at the BlackBook Presents gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, under the title Robust American Love, from August 22 to September 5. It is a poignant, and very fitting title, considering its subject was one of the first out homosexual public figures in America. And, more directly explanatory, it was also a line from the provocative “Calamus” cluster of Leaves of Grass.
The artworks themselves are vivid, evocative illustrations, each based on a particularly affective or illuminating Whitman quote. The words become recontextualized, and vividly emboldened—as if Phillips has opened up little windows onto the poet's artistic and personal essences.