Cover image for Three artists (three women) : modernism and the art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe
Three artists (three women) : modernism and the art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe
Wagner, Anne Middleton, 1949-
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1996]

Physical Description:
xix, 346 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6512 .W285 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This original and sharply obser-vant book gives new significance to three important figures in the history of twentieth-century art: Eva Hesse, Lee Krasner, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Anne Wagner looks at their imagery and careers, relating their work to three decisive moments in the history of American modernism: the avant-garde of the 1920s, the New York School of the 1940s and 1950s, and the modernist redefinition undertaken in the 1960s. Their artistic contributions were invaluable, Wagner demonstrates, as well as hard-won. She also shows that the fact that these artists were women--the main element linking the three--is as much the index of difference among their art and experience as it is a passkey to what they share.

Author Notes

Anne Middleton Wagner is Professor of the History of Art, University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: Sculptor of the Second Empire (1990).

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In this scholarly new book, Wagner (history of art, Univ. of California, Berkeley) skillfully probes and tracks how each of these important American modernists at one time coped with life as both a professional artist and wife of a more famous one. "O'Keeffe's Femininity" demonstrates how infamous she was at rendering body imagery: "to imagine an impossible union‘the passionate coupling of hygiene and scatology, the body and its absence." Lee Krasner is shown painting her own way through Jackson Pollock's as well as Arshile Gorky's conventions until she eventually achieved autobiographical essays in paint and collage. Eva Hesse is optimistically identified as an innovative commentator on new sexuality, focusing on her body, but not her body alone. This gendered interpretation of three of the foremost American modernist women artists presents an interesting blend of biographical and historical criticism. Recommended for most academic collections.‘Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Many words have been written about women artists since the 1960s, but in these writings critics and historians of art have treated the issue of gender in creativity gingerly, if at all. Wagner (Univ. of California, Berkeley) boldly addresses the fact that the three artists she focuses on are women; indeed, she makes this the key element of her study. The lives and times of these disparate artists, Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Krasner, and Eva Hesse, are discussed fully with the central issue of their womanhood and the femininity of their art foremost throughout the text. It is refreshing to have this issue addressed in such a straightforward manner. The volume contains many illustrations of the artists and their works, a selected bibliography, and an appendix. It will prove an important source for all collections on art. General; undergraduate (including two-year technical program) through professional. L. Doumato; National Gallery of Art