La Otra Cara De La Vanguardia: Estudio Comparativo de la Obra Artistica de Maruja Mallo, Angeles Santos y Remedios Varo

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This book presents an extensive study of the common thematic and stylistic features present in the artistic production of the avant-garde painters Maruja Mallo, Ángeles Santos and Remedios Varo. Dr. Zanetta comparatively analyses the visual manifestations of these women painters that result from the competing theories of gender and sexuality central to the various ideological struggles of their period. The author studies the ways in which these women artists reflected in their works the new relationships and dilemmas of social change and feminist activity in Spain. Using as theoretical background many of the feminist theories of their time such as Joan Riviere’s notion of “Masquerade” or Simone De Beauvoir’s concept of woman as “the other” as well as contemporary feminist psychodynamic theories of gender and representation, the author demonstrates how these artists not only reacted against the misogynist conception of women that permeated the avant-garde movement but how they also proposed a new version of womanhood based on their own realities and experiences. The study of their work from this perspective clearly demonstrates that these three artists are outstanding pioneers in the field of feminist art, anticipating in their work many of the artistic trends that nowadays are considered by feminist art historians and critics as truly representative of the female experience. In Spanish


“In her study of three of the most original Spanish women painters of the Avant-garde movement – Maruja Mallo, Angeles Santos, and Remedios Varo – Dr. María Alejandra Zanetta opens a door that allows the reader to see and understand the causes that inspired these women to create alternative worlds in their artwork; she also reveals the reasons that made them cross the frontiers of reality in order to propose a new vision of the 'feminine realm.' The author, while describing the role assigned to women within the French Surrealist and the Spanish Avant-garde movements, demonstrates the profound misogyny that characterized the treatment of women by its masculine members ... In this erudite and intuitive study, Dr. María Alejandra Zanetta has demonstrated her exquisite sensibility as an artist and her penetrating intelligence as a scholar. Due to her ample knowledge of art, mythology, literature and feminist theory, the author has presented us with a book of rigorous research and an incisive evaluation of three of Spain’s most brilliant artists.” – (from the Preface) Shirley Mangini, Professor Emerita, California State University, Long Beach

“ ... This is an important and original book. For a number of reasons, which Dr. Zanetta explores in depth, these extraordinary women and their art have not received the critical attention they deserve, nor have they been honored with their proper place in Spanish (or western) artistic canon ... Although there are a few studies of the three individual artists, no one has studied them together or considered the similarities and differences in their painting within the wider context of the era in which they were working. Even though the women had very different personal backgrounds and unique painting styles, they and their painting coincide in numerous ways, which makes it valuable to consider them together ... This is an exceptionally valuable contribution to Spanish studies, to art history, to feminism, and to a better knowledge of the Spanish vanguard era ...” – Roberta Johnson, Professor Emerita, University of Kansas; Visiting Professor, UCLA

“ ... This book’s well-developed introduction establishes the context in which the women artists worked, drawing a detailed picture of the gender ideology prevailing in Spain and in Europe in general in the first decades of the twentieth century and the many obstacles facing aspiring women artists. This leads logically to an account of the strategies needed to counter negative representations of women and to find sources for a positive revaluation of the feminine ... Dr. Zanetta’s knowledge of the broader European vanguard art movements, especially surrealism, provides a most valuable context for understanding the intellectual environment of these Spanish painters ...” – Susan Kirkpatrick, Professor Emerita, University of California, San Diego

Table of Contents

Prólogo y agradecimientos
Preface by Shirley Mangini
Estado de la cuestión: lugar de las artistas mujeres dentro de la Historia del Art
Contexto cultural e ideológico: Una contradictoria modernidad – surrealismo y vanguardia
Maruja Mallo (Vivero, Lugo, 1902 – Madrid, 1995)
Ángeles Santos (Portbou, Gerona, 1911)
Remedios Varo (Anglés, Gerona, 1908 – México, DF, 1963)
Bibliografía General

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