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Rubies and Rebels: Jewish Female Identity in Contemporary British Art
Monica Bohm Duchen with a foreword by RB Kitaj
Lund Humphries ISBN 9780853317036

Women artists belonging to other minority groups have for some time felt able, even compelled, to explore issues of identity in their work. This book is the first to focus on the work of Jewish women artists working in Britain today, whose sense of Jewish and female identity is central to their oeuvre.

The book reproduces works by twenty contemporary Jewish women artists. The artworks included range widely: from work that addresses issues of identity in a direct and explicit manner to work where such references are more oblique; from work which is affirmative to work that adopts a more critical approach.

In spite of this diversity, certain recurring preoccupations are in evidence: notably, the importance of the female biblical figure; the richness of religious customs; the power of the family, and of the women within it; the complex experience of immigration; and the dark shadows of the Holocaust.

The accompanying essays are by Monica Bohm-Duchen, curator and author of several books, who examines the work of the artists featured in the book; the renowned art historian Griselda Pollock, who looks at the relationship between feminism and Judaism; and Julia Weiner, former curator of the Ben Uri Art Gallery, who examines the history of Jewish female artists in Britain from 1700 to 1940.