Debra Thimmesch 13 posts
Debra Thimmesch is an art historian and critic, activist, independent researcher and scholar, writer, editor, and visual artist. She mentors graduate students in art history and is attuned to current endeavors to radically rethink, decolonize, and reframe the study and pedagogy of art history. Her work has appeared in Art Papers, The Brooklyn Rail, and Blind Field Journal.

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Catherine Marion’s Fantastical Universes of Flora and Fauna

Georgia O’Keeffe once said, ​​“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else.”

Artist Catherine Marion creates entire worlds of stylized flora and fauna, especially flowers and birds, for wallpaper and other products. Her wallpaper designs, however, are what she imagines when she sits down to draw.read more.

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Camille Eskell and the Plight of the Fez-Maker’s Granddaughter

For artist Camille Eskell, the fez is laden with potent personal symbolic meaning as vast as its far-reaching mix of geographical and socio-cultural connotations. 

“I often use the fez cap,” she elucidates, “as a structural base for storytelling to signify the foundation, and the patriarchal base, established by both my grandfathers.” read more.

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Kenojuak Ashevak: The Inuit Art of a Modern Printmaker

Kenojuak Ashevak once told an interviewer that she aimed to make viewers happy with her colorful prints and drawings, a modest aspiration for an artist who has been referred to as a “national treasure” in Canada. Kenojuak rose to prominence in the late 1950s with her experimental printmaking, which seemed to white audiences in Southern Canada to be emblematic of the Inuit artistic aesthetic.read more.

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Spandita Malik: Meshes of Resistance, Threads of Hope

Photographer Spandita Malik has produced at least three portraits of Parween Devi. In each instance, the latter has been a partner in the creative process, contributing her expert needlework. In a portrait in Spandita’s Vadhu: The Embroidered Bride series, Parween sits for her bridal portrait in a plastic chair in front of a cabinet which holds an older-model television.read more.

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Kenzie Sitterud: How the West was Anything but One

What better place to challenge doggedly heteronormative and white narratives of the American West than in Denver (CO), a city that instantaneously conjures romantic images of the free-wheeling, lawless, and emphatically heroic, white, and male Wild West?  

Denver-based, queer artist Kenzie Sitterud’s exhibition From, Dawn at Denver’s Leon Art Gallery was that proverbial burr under the saddle of conventional Wild West mythology.read more.

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Lesley Dill on the Wilderness of the American Soul

Brooklyn artist Lesley Dill was intrigued by the experiences of early settlers who attempted to traverse and put down roots in the American wilderness. As she began researching, she uncovered dramatic stories of European immigrants who, she explains, “were afraid of the wilderness out there surrounding them and the wilderness inside them.” read more.

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