Girls! Girls! Girls! in Contemporary Art (Book)

Girls! Girls! Girls! presents essays from established and up-and-coming scholars who address a variety of themes, including narcissism, nostalgia, postfeminism and fantasy with the goal of approaching the overarching question of why female artists are turning in such numbers to the subject of girls – and what these contemporary artistic explorations signify. 

Category: Cultural Studies

Edition

Since the 1990s, women artists have led the contemporary art world in the creation of art depicting female adolescence, producing challenging, critically debated and avidly collected artworks that are driving the current and momentous shift in the perception of women in art. Girls! Girls! Girls! presents essays from established and up-and-coming scholars who address a variety of themes, including narcissism, nostalgia, post-feminism and fantasy with the goal of approaching the overarching question of why women artists are turning in such numbers to the subject of girls – and what these artistic explorations signify. Artists discussed include Anna Gaskell, Marlene McCarty, Sue de Beer, Miwa Yanagi, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Collier Schorr and more.

Contributors include Lucy Soutter, Harriet Riches, Maud Lavin, Taru Elfving, Kate Random Love, and Carol Mavor.

Catherine Grant is a visiting lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Lori Waxman is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 
Introduction: The Girl in Contemporary Art – Catherine Grant and Lori Waxman
 
Through the Looking-Glass with Heart-Shaped Sunglasses: Searching for Alice and Lolita in Contemporary Representations of Girls – Lori Waxman
 
Dial ‘P’ for Panties: Narrative Photography in the 1990s (with a New Afterword by the Author) – Lucy Soutter
 
Girlish Games: Playfulness and ‘Drawingness’ in the Work of Francesca Woodman and Lucy Gunning – Harriet Riches
 
Marlene McCarty’s Murder Girls – Maud Lavin
 
Haunted: Writing with the Girl – Taru Elfving
 
Oh Mother Where Art Thou? Sue de Beer’s Hysterical Orphan Girls – Kate Random Love
 
Mi-girl, Mi-kick, Mi-fire, Mi-sin, Mi-soul, MI-WA: A Fairy Tale in Blue – Carol Mavor
 
Baby Butches and Reluctant Lolitas: Collier Schorr and Hellen van Meene – Catherine Grant
 

'Tracking the figure of the girl across the fields of contemporary art and film, this book moves effortlessly between cultural criticism, art history, and feminist theory. Be forewarned, however: the girls in contemporary art are anything but docile or well-behaved. From baby butches to bad girls, from reluctant Lolitas to hysterical orphans, these girls make terrific trouble in the lavishly imagined worlds they inhabit. And the women who do that imagining? They are some of the leading artists and filmmakers of our day. And thanks to ‘Girls! Girls! Girls! in Contemporary Art’ they get their critical due.' – Richard Meyer, University of Southern California
 
'‘Girls! Girls! Girls! in Contemporary Art’ is the missing link in the new feminist art history/criticism. It engages with that crucial and ambiguous period where children become women. In a way, one might say that girlhood lies at the root of Freud’s question ‘what do women want?’ at the same time that it mystifies this originary moment in women’s history. These texts hit the crucial questions in girl representation, running the whole gamut from charm to hysteria to murder.' – Linda Nochlin, New York University

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