About the Book
A transformative feminist intervention in the way we think about women's stories and bodies. Coming across the term "art monster" in Jenny Offill's 2014 novel Dept. of Speculation, Lauren Elkin was intrigued. What kinds of connections might there be between art and monstrosity, and how was it different when the artist in question was a woman? Art Monsters is a landmark feminist intervention in the way we think about women's stories and bodies, calling attention to a radical genealogy of feminist art that not only reacts against patriarchy but redefines its own aesthetic aims. Exploring a rich lineage of visual artists, thinkers, and writers, Elkin examines the ways feminists have confronted the problem of how to tell the truth of their experiences as bodies. Queer bodies, sick bodies, raced bodies, female bodies: What are the languages of the body, and what are the materials we need to transcribe them? Above all, how can we use the notion of the feminist "art monster" to shape how we live our lives? Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Maggie Nelson, Elkin demonstrates her power as a cultural critic in this erudite and engaging book. From Kara Walker's silhouettes to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's trilingual masterpiece Dictee, Art Monsters daringly weaves links between disparate artists and writers, and shows that their work offers a potent defense of beauty and excess, sentiment and touch, ambiguity and opacity.
About the Author: Lauren Elkin
's essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times
, The Guardian
, and The Times Literary Supplement.
Her book Flâneuse
was named a notable book of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review
and was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. A native New Yorker, she lived in Paris for twenty years and now resides in London.