Author(s): Harrison, Charles
Charles Harrison here traces the history of female subjects as they began to gaze out of the picture to confront and engage their viewers. Combining conceptual history with telling investigations into the details of specific works, Painting the Difference deciphers the implications of sexual difference for the development of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art.
In considering works by artists such as Renoir, Degas, Picasso, and Matisse, as well as Rothko, Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and others, Harrison incorporates elements of cultural criticism and social history into his arguments. Generous color illustrations permit the reader to test the author’s claims against the works on which they are based.
Rich with detail and compelling analysis, Painting the Difference offers cutting-edge interpretation by one of the most respected teachers and theorists of modern art.
“Painting the Difference complicates routine assumptions about the sexism of male artists and viewers, and raises useful questions about the history of seeing.”—Patricia Failing, Art News
“Taken together these chapters serve to demonstrate how careful looking can provide new insight into the making and meaning of iconic works. Conceptually challenging and rich in detail, this is an attractive volume with a generous number of illustrations, both in color and black and white, that help to support the author's claims and argument.”—Britta C. Dwyer, Women’s Art Journal
“To their advantage the book’s arguments are patiently developed from perceptive reading of the treatment of materials and pictorial effect that is rare in art historians. One of the pleasures of reading it is to follow how the book’s many insights about specific representations become based on evidence of the materiality of the paintings.”—Mark Harris, Art Monthly