By Robin Kahn
NY: Mis Dias Press, 2005
Hardcover, 5 x 7 in. / 34 pgs / 26 color.
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The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Art is a new book built on the pages of an old one, a smart, witty take on art history collaged over the text and images of a 1950s introduction to fine art for "club women." Conceptual artist Robin Kahn has bound that palimpsest as a board-book for beginners looking for a fresh and informed entry into contemporary art through the work of a woman artist and curator, and her work reflects changes in both the art world and its audience. A section on recommendations that once directed readers to Mondrian, Jacques-Louis David and Degas now suggests they check out, among others listed by category, "Mannerist: Lorna Simpson"; "Screamer: Yoko Ono;" and "Dildo Strapper: Lynda Benglis." The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Art is a comic alternative to art history, an art-historically minded piece of art, and a beautifully crafted, colored and reproduced work in itself.
Sample Pages (click to enlarge):