We Are Artists


We may have heard of or seen the works of Frida Kahlo or Georgia O’Keeffe. Yet what of Lyubov Popova who was a force behind Russia’s Constructivism movement? Thereafter, did you know how much photography influenced Frida Kahlo’s works? Or that Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous flower paintings were inspired by the hat, crowned with imitation violets, worn by her art teacher?

Do you know of Kenojuak Ashevak whose introduction to conventional art media by some other villagers in Kinngait, inspired her print making? She became ‘known as a pioneer of modern Inuit art’ and the ‘Grandmother of Inuit art’. 

Like Kenojuak, Emily Kame Kngwarreye used traditional understandings and routines to inspire her art. Yet Emily recreated the Dreamings, firstly through batik- making and then by painting. Although she was nearly eighty when she started, Emily ‘painted nearly 3,000 paintings in eight years’! 

Kari Herbert describes the artist’s approach and manner in each biography, before expanding upon her life and style. Illustrations, copies of works and photographs are included in each of the fourteen profiles, too.

Bookwagon loves We Are Artists for the definitions, revelations, quality of research and the beauty of this production. We are proud to recommend this as a gift, or a worthwhile addition to bookshelves at home and school.

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We Are Artists

Women who made their mark on the world

Kari Herbert

(Thames & Hudson)

Kenojuak Ashevak, Corita Kent, Emily Kame Kngwarreye or Alma Thomas are unlikely to have thought We Are Artists in their early years. However each fulfilled her destiny through inspiration, opportunity and determination.
Kari Herbert of We Are Explorers profiles fourteen artists. We realise how few females are recognised in this field! Suzanne Valadon worked alongside the Impressionists. However, her unconventional lifestyle and beauty brought her renown. Yet, when Edgar Degas ‘saw her work he was amazed‘. What’s more, he ‘bought three of her pictures and became her mentor’.
Well known artists include Barbara Hepworth, Tove Jansson and Georgia O’Keeffe. However, most are artists lesser known to us. What’s more each has been an innovator.  Amrita Sher-Gil sought to introduce India’s shimmering colours into her paintings, rather than a pale European palette. She sought ‘glimpses of a private moment in the lives of those she painted’. Yet, it is only in recent years that her creations have received the attention they merit.
Faith Ringgold was frustrated that exhibitions did not represent works of art from African Americans or women. She employed ‘forms of women’s art’ to gain attention. Thereafter, her quilts and needlework became artworks that ‘hang in the homes of presidents’. Meanwhile, her ‘mosaics line the walls of subway stations in New York City’!
Kari Herbert introduces each subject with a description after which a biography follows. There are illustrations from the writer, alongside photographs and representations of the subjects’ art. Each artist is fascinating. We are gripped, informed and encouraged. Bookwagon recommends We Are Artists highly for reading at home and school.  This is vital and interesting reading.


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