Catherine de Zegher

Catherine de Zegher was Director of The Drawing Center in New York from 1999 to 2006. She is the editor of Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine (MIT Press, 1996).

  • Women Artists at the Millennium

    Women Artists at the Millennium

    Carol Armstrong and Catherine de Zegher

    Artists, art historians, and critics look at the legacies of feminism and critical theory in the work of women artists, more than thirty years after the beginning of the modern women's movement and Linda Nochlin's landmark essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?"

    More than thirty years after the birth of the modern women's movement and the beginnings of feminist art-making and art history, the time is ripe to examine the legacies of those revolutions. In Women Artists at the Millennium, artists, art historians, and critics examine the differences that feminist art practice and critical theory have made in late twentieth-century art and the discourses surrounding it. In 1971, when Linda Nochlin published her essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" in a special issue of Art News, there were no women's studies, no feminist theory, no such thing as feminist art criticism; there was instead a focus on the mythic figure of the great (male) artist through history. Since then, the "woman artist" has not simply been assimilated into the canon of "greatness" but has expanded art-making into a multiplicity of practices with new parameters and perspectives. In Women Artists at the Millennium artists including Martha Rosler and Yvonne Rainer reflect upon their own varied practices and art historians discuss the innovative work of such figures as Louise Bourgeois, Lygia Clark, Mona Hatoum, and Carrie Mae Weems. And Linda Nochlin considers changes since her landmark essay and looks to the future, writing, "We will need all our wit and courage to make sure that women's voices are heard, their work seen and written about."

    Artist Pages By: Ellen Gallagher, Ann Hamilton, Mary Kelly, Yvonne Rainer, Martha Rosler

    Contributing Writers: Emily Apter, Carol Armstrong, Catherine de Zegher, Maria DiBattista, Brigid Doherty, Briony Fer, Tamar Garb, Anne Higonnet, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Molly Nesbit, Mignon Nixon, Linda Nochlin, Griselda Pollock, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Lisa Tickner, Anne Wagner

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • The Activist Drawing

    The Activist Drawing

    Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond

    Catherine de Zegher and Mark Wigley

    A reconsideration of Constant Nieuwenhuys's visionary architectural project, New Babylon, and of the role of drawing in and electronic age.

    Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys (b. 1920) developed his visionary architectural project New Babylon between 1956 and 1974. Emerging out of the remarkable activist group the Situationist International, the project was concerned with issues of "unitary urbanism" and the future of art in a technocratic society. It has had a major impact on subsequent generations of artists, architects, and urbanists. Exploring the intersection of drawing, utopianism, and activism in a multimedia era, The Activist Drawing not only traces this historical moment but reveals surprisingly contemporary issues about the relationship between a fully automated environment and human creativity.

    Several decades before the current debate about architecture in the supposedly placeless electronic age, Constant conceived an urban and architectural model that literally envisaged the World Wide Web. The inhabitants of his New Babylon drift through huge labyrinthine interiors, perpetually reconstructing every aspect of the environment according to their latest desires. Walls, floors, lighting, sound, color, texture, and smell keep changing. This network of vast "sectors" can be seen as a physical embodiment of the Internet, where people configure their individual Web sites and wander from site to site without limits. With its parallels to our virtual world, New Babylon seems as radical today as when it was created.

    The essays explore the relevance of Constant's utopian work to that of his peers in the Situationist International and experimental architectural movements of the 1960s, as well as later generations of architects and artists. They use Constant's revolutionary project as a springboard to reconsider the role of drawing in an electronic age.

    Copublished with the Drawing Center, New York City.

    Contributors Benjamin Buchloh, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Rosalyn Deutsche, Catherine de Zegher, Elizabeth Diller, Tom McDonough, Martha Rosler, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, Mark Wigley

    • Hardcover $32.00
  • Inside the Visible

    Inside the Visible

    An Elliptical Traverse of 20th Century Art in, of, and From the Feminine

    Catherine de Zegher

    Published on the occasion of a major exhibition opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Inside the Visible presents a gendered reading of more than thirty women artists of vastly different background and experience. The work of important yet previously "invisible" figures is highlighted alongside the work of established artists to create a retheorized interpretation of the art of this century. Structured in terms of recurrent cycles over time, Inside the Visible focuses on three periods (the 1930s and 1940s, the 1960s and 1970s, and the 1990s) that anticipated a wave of political repression, nationalism, and xenophopia, often stimulating artistic production that redefined practice. Illustrated essays document each artist in the collection. In addition, four general essays trace the connections among the artists. These take up such issues as why artistic recognition eluded certain artists and why their work is only just becoming visible today. They also address overlapping themes such as gender and sexuality; the intersection of racial, class, ethnic, sexual, and regional identities; and the nature of the relationship between work and viewer.

    • Paperback $40.00