On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture


Book Pages: 280 Illustrations: 25 b&w illustrations Published: February 1997

Author: Mira Schor

Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Feminist Art, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies

Taking aim at the mostly male bastion of art theory and criticism, Mira Schor brings a maverick perspective and provocative voice to the issues of contemporary painting, gender representation, and feminist art. Writing from her dual perspective of a practicing painter and art critic, Schor’s writing has been widely read over the past fifteen years in Artforum, Art Journal, Heresies, and M/E/A/N/I/N/G, a journal she coedited. Collected here, these essays challenge established hierarchies of the art world of the 1980s and 1990s and document the intellectual and artistic development that have marked Schor’s own progress as a critic.
Bridging the gap between art practice, artwork, and critical theory, Wet includes some of Schor’s most influential essays that have made a significant contribution to debates over essentialism. Articles range from discussions of contemporary women artists Ida Applebroog, Mary Kelly, and the Guerrilla Girls, to "Figure/Ground," an examination of utopian modernism’s fear of the "goo" of painting and femininity. From the provocative "Representations of the Penis," which suggests novel readings of familiar images of masculinity and introduces new ones, to "Appropriated Sexuality," a trenchant analysis of David Salle’s depiction of women, Wet is a fascinating and informative collection.
Complemented by over twenty illustrations, the essays in Wet reveal Schor’s remarkable ability to see and to make others see art in a radically new light.


Wet is a great read. Schor is gloriously fierce, often hilarious, and has boldly trod on powerful, or at least fashionably clad toes.” — Erica Rand, Bookforum

Wet is a subversive take on the aesthetics and politics of art.” — Ms.

“A fascinating collection of her best writings. . . .” — Katy Deepwell, n.paradoxa

“In 20 essays divided into four primary sections – “Masculinity,” “Femininity and Feminism,” “Teaching,” and “Painting” – Schor manages to mesh and unravel the prevailing issues of art and feminist history and theory arisen over the last decade with absolute authority. … Schor walks many lines securely – balancing formalism and feminism, theory and practice, public advocacy and private artistry – and finds ways to honor and integrate opposites, without ever getting wishy-washy. ... Schor presents history – of feminism and of art – so truthfully, with so much of its original integrity still intact, and with so little agenda interference that it can behave like poetry.” — Jennifer Liese, Provincetown Arts

“Where have all the feminists gone? Let us hope they are all putting together collections like this one by Schor, a painter, writer and teacher at the Parsons School of Design…. Feminist, artists and other keepers of our subversives fires will certainly find a home in this inspiring collection.” — Publishers Weekly

“Far more than a collection of random essays, Schor’s deliciously titled Wet is a cohesive and lively group of writings addressing issues central to the practice and theory of postmodern art. One is compelled to respect her passion and eloquence and to enjoy her rhetorical flair. Wet is a ‘must’ for all scholars, critics, and artists interested in the contemporary art scene.” — Amelia Jones, author of Postmodernism and the En-gendering of Marcel Duchamp

“Mira Schor’s collected critical art essays are witty, insightful, incisive. As artist, writer, and magazine editor, she shows us cracks in the art world’s walls. She is up-to-date, on target. In a controversial field, she is a bold and confrontational critic.” — Nancy Spero, artist


Availability: In stock
Price: $26.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Mira Schor is a painter and writer living in New York City. Coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G from 1986 to 1996, she  currently teaches at Parsons School of Design.

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Winner, Frank Jewett Mather Award (presented by College Art Association)

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1915-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1910-8
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