The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art


Product Details

Demeter Press
Publish Date
8.0 X 8.1 X 1.3 inches | 2.25 pounds

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About the Author

Myrel Chernick is an artist and writer living in New York City. She has shown her text-based multimedia installations nationally and internationally, lectured widely and curated the exhibit Maternal Metaphors that includes the work of 15 international artists and has been presented twice. In addition to working with the Peculiar Works Project on an Off-Off Broadway production of the Beggars Opera she is currently writing and illustrating a hybrid novel that takes place in Paris and New York. Jennie Klein's primary areas of research lie in contemporary art, art criticism, feminist art, and performance art. She is a contributing editor for Art Papers and Performance Art Journal (PAJ), and a member of the editorial board of Genders. She has published in n.paradoxa, Art History, New Art Examiner, and Afterimage. She is the editor of Linda Montano, Letters from Linda M. Montano (London: Routledge, 2005), the co-curator, along with Rebecca McGrew, of The 21st Century Odyssey: The Performance Work of Barbara T. Smith, and the co-curator, along with Myrel Chernick, of Maternal Metaphors: Artists, Mothers, Art work. Professor Klein has also written several catalogue essays, including the primary essays for The 21st Century Odyssey and Maternal Metaphors.


The M Word puts the most hallowed and fraught life relationship of all into the center of visual culture. Working through feminist ambivalence about motherhood (in all of its myriad and motley forms), this collection offers a crucial corrective to the dearth of discussions about life choices and living tensions for creative women in art and art discourse. With a range of key feminist artists, art historians, and theorists addressing topics from Mexican feminist art collectives to the Holocaust and mothering to queer mothering, this book presents a range of rigorous thinking in textual and visual form. In The M Word, maternity, as a state, an ideology, an image, becomes the perfect pivot through which to examine women imagining ourselves into the sometimes incompatible roles of caring, care-taking, thinking, and making. - Amelia Jones, Grierson Chair in Visual Culture, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University The M Word is a welcome addition to the fields of both maternal and art historical studies. In their strong introduction, Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein provide a smart historical grounding for the intersections of mothering and visual art. The union of scholarly and narrative voices and the range of visual material included offer a compelling framework for this volume devoted to a significant and (always) timely topic. - Rachel Epp Buller, editor of Reconciling Art and Mothering The central importance of this title lies in the richness of the work collected together, and in particular in its creation of a political archive of feminist artwork that engages with the maternal. It will be a key book in the area of feminist art theory. The wonderful interview with Mary Kelly is an important piece of art historical documentation in itself. - Imogen Tyler, Senior Lecturer and Leverhulme Research Fellow, Sociology Department, Lancaster University