Being in Pictures, by Joanne Leonard, is an unusually successful "intimate photo memoir."
The book is arranged in wonderful groupings of photographs, collages and montages, all enlivened with short, articulate prose that interweaves a personal life story with the art. It is a quick, engaging read, and at the end, we feel as if we have known this artist as a friend for a long time.
Leonard's experiences as feminist artist, academic, single mom, identical twin, and daughter of an Alzheimer's patient all play a part in her art.
Reflecting on her decision in the 1960s to choose a career as an artist, Leonard writes:
" ...but even as a young woman, I had to take myself seriously as an artist in order to allow myself the time, money, and space for my art. In fact, looking back, I think it was that very "allowing" more than anything else that defined me as an artist; I built a darkroom and, later, a studio when I could have fixed up a kitchen."
A well-made short documentary video serves as an introduction and companion piece to the book.
— Jim Casper
Being in Pictures
by Joanne Leonard
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: University of Michigan Press (April 1, 2008)
11.2 x 11.1 x 1.1 inches
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Book reviewBeing in PicturesA life’s work of photography, collage, feminism, and keen observations on the sexes, makes the new book by Joanne Leonard exceptional reading.View Images
Being in Pictures
A life’s work of photography, collage, feminism, and keen observations on the sexes, makes the new book by Joanne Leonard exceptional reading.View Images
Being in Pictures
A life’s work of photography, collage, feminism, and keen observations on the sexes, makes the new book by Joanne Leonard exceptional reading.
Julia, One Week Old, 1975 © Joanne Leonard
Sonia, 1966 © Joanne Leonard
Romanticism is Ultimately Fatal, from Dreams and Nightmares 1972 © Joanne Leonard
Death for a Wife, from Dreams and Nightmares, 1972 © Joanne Leonard
Picasso Collage, 1973 © Joanne Leonard
Pregnant, from Journal of a Miscarriage, 1973 © Joanne Leonard collection: Jeremy Stone, San Francisco
Reproduction, from Journal of a Miscarriage, 1973 © Joanne Leonard Collection of Jeremy Stone, San Francisco
Untitled (pear and couple), from Journal of a Miscarriage, 1973 © Joanne Leonard. Collection of Jeremy Stone, San Francisco
Winged Ones, 1985 © Joanne Leonard Collection of Detroit Institute of Arts and Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, California
Countertop, Snowing, from Series of Countertop Landscapes © Joanne Leonard
Julia and the Window of Vulnerability, (II) 1983 [black background, missile and stars] © Joanne Leonard. Collection of Joe and Wanda Corn
Julia and the Window of Vulnerability, (I) 1983 [blue background] © Joanne Leonard. Collection of René di Rosa
Roots and Wings (detail from the center section), 1988 © Joanne Leonard. Collection of Barbara Raymond
Letting Her Go With Difficulty, 1992 © Joanne Leonard
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