Subversion and Surrealism in the Art of Honoré Sharrer

Edited by M. Melissa Wolfe; With essays by Sarah Burns, Robert Cozzolino, Michael Lobel, M. Melissa Wolfe, and Adam Desmond Zagorin

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Honoré Sharrer (1920–2009) was a major art world figure in 1940s America, celebrated for exquisitely detailed paintings conveying subtly subversive critiques of the political and artistic climate of her time. This book offers the first critical reassessment of the artist: a leftist, female painter committed to figuration in an era when anti-Communist sentiment and masculine Abstract Expressionism dominated American culture. Her brightly colored, humorous, and distinctly feminine paintings combine elements of social realism and surrealism to seductive and disquieting effect. This publication is a timely reevaluation of an artist who pushed the boundaries of figurative painting with playfulness and biting wit.

Sarah Burns is the Ruth N. Halls Professor of Art History Emerita at Indiana University. Robert Cozzolino is the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Anastasia Kinigopoulo is assistant curator at the Columbus Museum of Art. Michael Lobel is professor of art history at Hunter College, City University of New York. M. Melissa Wolfe is curator of American art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Adam Zagorin, the artist’s son, is an investigative journalist for the Project on Government Oversight.


Columbus Museum of Art

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Smith College Museum of Art, Northamton, MA

"Like viewers of Sharrer’s work, each author here seeks coherence and narrative connectivity within her shifting biography . . . As a 'rediscovery' of Sharrer, Subversion and Surrealism is an excellent first step that leaves one wanting more."—Kathryn M. Floyd, Woman's Art Journal

The Association of Art Museum Curators 2017 Award for Excellence, Catalogue or Publication Award Category
ISBN: 9780300223132
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Columbus Museum of Art
176 pages, 9 x 11
125 color illus.
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