Picturing Motherhood Now


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Emily Liebert and Nadiah Rivera Fellah; With contributions by Rosalyn Deutsche, Naima J. Keith, Thomas J. Lax, and Laura Wexler, and a conversation between Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Malik Gaines, Wendy Red Star, Carmen Winant, and Naima J. Keith

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Collective insights from a diverse and global group of contemporary artists whose works challenge traditional representations of motherhood

Picturing Motherhood Now brings together work by a range of contemporary artists who reimagine the possibilities for representing motherhood. Drawing on a range of feminisms, this exhibition catalogue challenges familiar archetypes of motherhood, construing motherhood as a multivalent term. The artists in the catalogue see motherhood as a lens through which to examine contemporary social issues. While focusing on art made in the past two decades, the catalogue also integrates work by significant pioneers, narrating an intergenerational and evolving story. This richly illustrated volume features painting, sculpture, photography, and installations by 30 contemporary artists, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Titus Kaphar, and Aliza Nisenbaum, alongside works by feminist pioneers who inspired them, such as Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel, and Betye Saar. Scholarly essays examine dimensions of matrilineage and contemporary art, enlarging our understanding of motherhood in today’s culture. The catalogue also includes a roundtable conversation among artists and thinkers, animating the themes of the exhibition through a dynamic exchange.

Distributed for the Cleveland Museum of Art

Exhibition Schedule:

Cleveland Museum of Art
(October 16, 2021–March 13, 2022)

Emily Liebert is curator of contemporary art, and Nadiah Rivera Fellah is associate curator of contemporary art, both at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Cleveland Museum of Art
(October 16, 2021–March 13, 2022)

ISBN: 9780300260069
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Cleveland Museum of Art
136 pages, 9 x 12
88 color illus.