Lauren Elkin: Art Monsters

Big Ideas

  • Lauren+Elkin+author+photo+2022+c+Sophie+Davidson

    Lauren Elkin, 2022. Photo: Sophie Davidson

Past Event


This event was on Thursday 27 July, 7pm

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Big Ideas: Lauren Elkin

Thursday 27 July | 7pm | £5

For decades, feminist artists have confronted the problem of how to tell the truth about their experiences as bodies. Queer bodies, sick bodies, racialised bodies, female bodies, what is their language, what are the materials we need to transcribe it?

Join acclaimed writer Lauren Elkin in discussion with critic and writer Hettie Judah about her latest book Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art, which transforms how we think about art and the body, calling attention to a radical heritage of feminist work that not only reacts against patriarchy, but also defines its own aesthetic aims.

Elkin weaves daring links between disparate artists and writers – from Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography to Kara Walker’s silhouettes, Vanessa Bell’s portraits to Eva Hesse’s rope sculptures, Carolee Schneemann’s body art to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s trilingual masterpiece DICTEE – and shows that their work offers a potent celebration of beauty and excess, sentiment and touch, the personal and the political.

Supported by the Stanley Picker Trust. In partnership with Penguin Random House.

About Lauren Elkin

Lauren Elkin is the author of several books, including Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, a Radio 4 Book of the Week, a New York Times Notable Book of 2017, and a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel award for the art of the essay. Her essays on art, literature, and culture have appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s, Le Monde, Les Inrockuptibles, and Frieze, among others. She is also an award-winning translator, most recently of Simone de Beauvoir’s previously unpublished novel The Inseparables. After twenty years in Paris, she now lives in London

About Hettie Judah

Hettie Judah is chief art critic on the The i, a regular contributor to The Guardian and a columnist for Apollo magazine. She writes for many publications with ‘art’ in the title. Following her 2020 study on the impact of motherhood on artists’ careers, she worked with a group of artists to draw up the manifesto How Not To Exclude Artist Parents, now available in 16 languages. Recent books include How Not To Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents) and Lapidarium. She is currently working on a book and 2024 Hayward Touring exhibition On Art and Motherhood, among other things.

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