An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism


Book Pages: 496 Illustrations: Published: December 2000

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

M/E/A/N/I/N/G brings together essays and commentary by over a hundred artists, critics, and poets, culled from the art magazine of the same name. The editors—artists Susan Bee and Mira Schor—have selected the liveliest and most provocative pieces from the maverick magazine that bucked commercial gallery interests and media hype during its ten-year tenure (1986–96) to explore visual pleasure with a culturally activist edge.
With its emphasis on artists’ perspectives of aesthetic and social issues, this anthology provides a unique opportunity to enter into the fray of the most hotly contested art issues of the past few decades: the visibility of women artists, sexuality and the arts, censorship, art world racism, the legacies of modernism, artists as mothers, visual art in the digital age, and the rewards and toils of a lifelong career in art. The stellar cast of contributing artists and art writers includes Nancy Spero, Richard Tuttle, David Humphrey, Thomas McEvilley, Laura Cottingham, Johanna Drucker, David Reed, Carolee Schneemann, Whitney Chadwick, Robert Storr, Leon Golub, Charles Bernstein, and Alison Knowles.
This compelling and theoretically savvy collection will be of interest to artists, art historians, critics, and a general audience interested in the views of practicing artists.


M/E/A/N/I/N/G collates 10 years of incisive criticism and observations on contemporary culture by artists who really had something to say and said it well. It was open, unaligned, and unmitigated, so that it never had one point of view but as many as it needed to get the job done. . . . [A] thick, full, and rich digest of a very significant artist publication. The only regret is that it no longer is being published.” — Umbrella

“A fascinating snapshot of a transitional era in American art, one whose terms and preoccupations are still being reworked and worked out.” — Publishers Weekly

“[A] valuable document whose arguments and messages still reverberate in urgent ways” — Edward M. Gomez, Duke Magazine

“[A] wonderful, enlightening, challenging collection of artists’ writing as well as commentaries and forums on contemporary visual art.” — Charles Bernstein, Seminary Co-Op

“[F]or readers who are curious about what it actually felt like to be a struggling American artist circa 1990, M/E/A/N/I/N/G is an invaluable resource.” — Raphael Rubinstein, Art in America

“[I]nvigorating . . .” — Charles Alexander, Rain Taxi

“[W]ith a lucid introduction by the artist and art historian Johanna Drucker, who was also a journal contributor. With dozens of shortish entries on a variety of topics, the book makes for solid, sometimes trenchant reading, with contents that have, on the whole, aged well and even have continuing pertinence. . . . [M/E/A/N/I/N/G] will surely give journals, editors, and artists of the future an alternative model to learn from, and a strong one: articulate, opinionated, against the grain in its thinking, and very often right.” — Holland Cotter, Art Journal

“The intellectual quality, especially of the Cottingham and Cronin/Kass pieces, is very satisfying. There is no doubt in my mind this is an improvement over previous anthologies.” — Tee A. Corinne, Queer Caucus for Art Newsletter

“This book should be required reading in MFA programs across the country . . . . It is a book that sustains artists, its ideas reaching to the core of how people become artists, why they keep going, and who they are. It is not about strategies for success, but it is about strategies for staying alive, open, and resourceful as an artist. To see one’s own thinking reflected in the thoughts of others, or to be provoked into new ways of seeing, is what we hope for when we read. This meaningful anthology brings us fresh ways of looking at the tough, persistent, perplexing problems inherent in artistic production and theory.” — Christina Schlesinger, Provincetown Arts

"[T]here is much to consider here, since critical questions about how the ‘meaning’ of avant-garde art is inflicted by its complicity with the market interests and its dependence upon institutions that are permeated by the sexism, racism, ethnocentricism, and ageism of popular American culture remain largely unresolved." — Marilynn Lincoln Board, Woman's Art Journal

M/E/A/N/I/N/G reflects a time when artists were, in a sense, the critical theorists of the moment. Mira Schor and Susan Bee inspired many of them to write about the subjects that were closest to their hearts, minds, and art.” — Elizabeth Hess, art critic

“The beauty of this book is the brilliant amassing by Susan Bee and Mira Schor of so many voices, ideas, and approaches. This anthology is full of gems, separately and in their juxtapositions. Fascinating, rich fare.” — Moira Roth, coauthor of Difference/Indifference: Musings on Postmodernism, Marcel Duchamp, and John Cage


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Price: $31.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Susan Bee is an artist, editor, and designer who founded, coedited, and designed M/E/A/N/I/N/G magazine. She shows her paintings at A.I.R. Gallery in New York City and her artist’s books include Little Orphan Anagram and Log Rhythms.

Mira Schor is on the faculty of the Fine Arts Department at Parsons School of Design. An award-winning painter and former coeditor and founder of M/E/A/N/I/N/G magazine, she is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
M/E/A/N/I/N/G: Feminism, Theory, and Art Practice / Johanna Drucker

Introduction / Susan Bee and Mira Schor

I. Feminism and Art

“Post-Feminism”—A Remasculinization of Culture? / Amelia Jones

Appropriated Sexuality / Mira Schor

Why We Need “Bad Girls” Rather Than “Good” Ones! / Corinne Robins

Barbara Pollack / Letter on Bad Girls / Barbara Pollack

A Conversation on Censorship with Carolee Schneemann / Aviva Rahmani

Aesthetic and Postmenopausal Pleasures / Joanna Frueh

just a sketch . . . / Laura Cottingham

A Conversation on Lesbian Subjectivity and Painting with Deborah Kass / Patricia Cronin

Monstrous Domesticity / Faith Wilding

II. The Politics of Meaning and Representation

For M/E/A/N/I/N/G / Charles Bernstein

Figure/Ground / Mira Schor

The Critic Is (?) Artist / Marcia Hafif

12 Questions of Art / Lucio Pozzi

Some Remarks on Racism in the American Arts / Daryl Chin

The Success of Failure / Joel Fisher

Visual Pleasure: A Feminist Perspective / Johanna Drucker

“I Don’t Take Voice Mail” / Charles Bernstein

III. Selections from the Forums

On Authenticity and Meaning / Arakawa & Madeline Gins, Susan Bee, Robert Berlind, Jake Berthot, Collins & Milazzo, Maureen Connor, Rackstraw Downes, David Humphrey, Komar & Melamid, Medrie MacPhee, Elizabeth Murray, Yvonne Rainer, Miriam Schapiro, Ann Schoenfeld, Pat Steir, Robert Storr, Lawrence Weiner

Contemporary Views on Racism in the Arts / Emma Amos, Josely Carvalho, Daryl Chin, Tom Finkelpearl, Madeline Gins, Renée Green, Hung Liu, Fern Logan, Juan Sanchez, Robert Storr

Over Time: A Forum on Art Making / Rudolf Baranik, Arthur Cohen, Hermine Ford, Nancy Fried, Leon Golub, John Goodyear, Nancy Grossman, Yvonne Jacquette, Ellen Lanyon, Ann McCoy, Melissa Meyer, Howardena Pindell, Lucio Pozzi, Jacques Roch, Miriam Schapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Tuttle, David von Schlegell, Lawrence Weiner, Faith Wilding

On Motherhood, Art, and Apple Pie / Emma Amos, Suzanne Anker, Susan Bee, Emily Cheng, Stephanie DeManuelle, Jane Dickson, Bailey Doogan, Hermine Ford, Mimi Gross, Freya Hansell, Yvonne Jacquette, Joyce Kozloff, Ellen Lanyon, Betty Lee, Lenore Malen, Ann Messner, Diane Neumaier, Nancy Pierson, Barbara Pollack, Erika Rothenberg, Miriam Schapiro, Arlene Shechet, Dena Shottenkirk, Joan Snyder, Elke Solomon, Nancy Spero, May Stevens, Martha Wilson, Barbara Zucker

On Creativity and Community / Jackie Brookner, David Humphrey, William Pope, Robert C. Morgan, Barbara Pollack, Jerry Saltz, Mira Schor

IV. Artists’ Musings

Mother Baseball / Vanalyne Green

Bats / Tom Knechtel

The Discovered Uncovered / Nancy Spero

Running on Empty: An Artist’s Life in New York / Susan Bee

Reorganized Meditations on Mnemonic Threshold / Joseph Nechvatal

The Critic and the Hare: Meditations on the Death of My Rabbit / Ann McCoy

September 21, 1989 / Richard Tuttle

Alison Knowles: An Interview / Aviva Rahmani

Media Baptisms / David Reed

V. Artists in Perspective

Florine Stettheimer: Eccentric Power, Invisible Tradition / Pamela Wye

Cartoons of the Self: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Murderer—Art Spiegelman’s Maus / Nancy K. Miller

Nancy Spero: Speaking in Tongues / Pamela Wye

Muse Begets Crone: On Leonora Carrington / Whitney Chadwick

Painting After Painting: The Paintings of Susan Bee / Misko Suvakovic

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears: An Interview with Thomas McEvilley / Dominique Nahas

Appendix: Contents of M/E/A/N/I/N/G
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2566-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2534-5
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