Author(s): Massimiliano Gioni
Whether as a symbol of creativity or as a metaphor for art itself, the archetype of the mother has been a central figure in the history of art, from the Venuses of the Stone Age to the "bad girls" of the post feminist era and through centuries of religious works depicting innumerable maternity scenes. The more familiar version of "Mamma" has also become a stereotype closely tied to the image of Italy. In undertaking an analysis of the representation of motherhood, the catalogue The Great Mother will trace a history of women's empowerment, chronicling gender struggles, sexual politics, and clashes between tradition and emancipation. The volume will mix past and present, juxtaposing contemporary art, historical works, and artifacts from the world of film and literature, weaving a rich tapestry of associations and images. The volume will bring together nearly 300 colour images, illustrating monographic texts and in-depth information on all the artists in the exhibition and a collection of new essays and criticism, written specifically for the occasion by Massimiliano Gioni, Lucia Re, Adrien Sina, Ruth Hemus, Calvin Tomkins, Whitney Chadwick, Guido Tintori, Matteo Pavesi, Marco Belpoliti, Raffaella Perna, Pietro Rigolo, Lea Vergine, Barbara Casavecchia.
Massimiliano Gioni, Italian art critic and curator, is the Director of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, as well as the Artistic Director of the New Museum in New York.