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Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game

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A much-needed survey of the influential feminist painting of Joan Semmel, with rarely seen drawings and collages

This publication, the first comprehensive catalog on the painting of New York–based artist Joan Semmel (born 1932), traces the artist’s career from early abstract paintings through her movement-defining feminist art and activism and, finally, to the vital and monumental images that she is making today of her own mature body. The book gives readers the opportunity to experience almost 55 years of Semmel’s extraordinary work, including a selection of her rarely seen drawings and collages.
In the face of persistent censorship and in defiance of deep-rooted sexism and ageism, Semmel has relentlessly made paintings that reflect the ongoing struggle for women’s equal representation, power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexuality, and empowerment through the self. At a moment when sex and body positivity have become international movements, this volume celebrates Semmel’s pivotal and under-recognized role in bringing these ideas forward.

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