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Libby Black // Some Women (Signed)

$ 42.00

Some Women: 100 Ink Drawings of Women as Subject or Artist features quill pen and ink drawings that Libby Black created based upon images of women depicted throughout art history and images of work by women artists.

Libby Black describes the project in the introduction:

On November 8, 2019 I gave myself an assignment to make ink drawings.

I have been teaching for 15 years and have never applied this medium in my own practice. In my drawing classes, I ask my students to buy ink and a quill pen set. I am completely seduced by the line quality of the quill pen. It never fails me. There is nothing like it.

I was already working on two long-term projects in my studio, but I wanted to start on a new project — something more immediate. That’s when I began making quick ink drawings. They didn’t need to mean anything special. They could be simple and small and live in a box. I wanted something I could work on at my kitchen table – something to do if I couldn’t make it to the studio. I posted the first drawing on Instagram on November  8, 2019 and asked people to send me postcards with images of women depicted throughout art history and images of work by women artists. About a dozen people sent me postcards or digital images. I had also started looking through a book  given to me decades ago by my grandmother’s friend, a Time Life Library of Art book called American Painting 1900–1970. This book was a good example of what I was taught in school. It mentions only three women artists. With the drawings I made from this book I started to examine how women are depicted in art made by men. The images I selected to redraw focused on the female body. I began to notice what the women were doing, how they were sexualized, and what the narrative revealed. I thought about what I had been taught in Art History—what I knew, what I didn’t know, and also what I didn’t know how to find for myself as a white lesbian. Why were there so many men showing me what the women were doing? Where were all the women artists? 

 This collection of drawings is not all inclusive—however, I knew I wanted to start with images of women portrayed by male artists, and include work by queer artists and artists of color. I am not an art historian, I make pictures—through looking, remaking, questioning, and repositioning images to understand the world around me. The creative process often raises more questions than answers. I used some of the images that were sent to me, and I also researched to find others. I finished the last drawing on March 28, 2020.  I made a total of 160 drawings and tore up five. This project was exactly what I wanted—the drawings filled up a box, which in turn filled me up. This project introduced a new medium into my practice and made me aware of new artists. It made me slow down and look at every little part of these pictures of art from the past. I saw women doing housework, dealing with motherhood, being angry and violent, being strong, protesting, and being sexual. After completing about 90 drawings, I realized I needed to archive them in a catalog. At the very least, this is a short art history lesson. I wish for you to experience three things with this collection of drawings: 1) You see what is going on, 2) You cry and then laugh, 3) You move forward with strength.

Libby Black is a painter, drawer, and sculptural installation artist living in Berkeley, CA. Her artwork charts a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore the intersection of politics, feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, consumerism, addiction, notions of value, and desire. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with such shows as “California Love” at Galerie Droste in Wupertal, Germany; “Bay Area Now 4” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; “California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art; and at numerous galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Black has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; and Spaces in Cleveland, OH. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, and The New York Times. She received a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in 2001. Libby is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.

2nd Edition produced by Open Editions. 8.5x11" 113 pp.