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"Brennan's book clearly contributes to both gender studies and the field of American modernism." Margaret Sundell Bookforum
"Painting Gender, Constructing Theory unearths the American underpinnings of that old monolith, formalism, and finds the erotic aesthetic of Alfred Stieglitz. Brennan shows how, through subtle, visual, and epistolary modes of influence, the charismatic photographer left a lasting imprint on the language of 20th-century art criticism. She delivers more than a well crafted thesis; her reader assimilates something of the very resonances between body and intellect, intimacy and spiritualism, that must have excited Steiglitz and his circle."--Susan Elizabeth Ryan, Louisiana State University
"Brennan brilliantly demonstrates how Stieglitz's house critics promoted a public image of his artists as revealing a modern eroticized and gendered identity in the abstract forms of their paintings. Her research is groundbreaking, in her reading of this school of criticism as an edifice that was socially constructed and permeated by discourses on sex and the psyche. This book establishes a vivid picture of Stieglitz and his friends as they successfully naturalized their own sexual and artistic ideologies, in the process of interpreting abstract forms as intrinsically shaped by gendered, erotic energies. Brennan's research should become essential reading for scholars of American modernism."--Kathleen A. Pyne, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, University of Notre Dame
"Marcia Brennan has convincingly placed Alfred Stieglitz at the very center of a 40-year debate about erotic energy and aesthetic purity in American modernist abstraction. She shows Stieglitz to have brought sex to the fore both in painting by his following of artists and in the extremely gendered discourse about it. She convincingly demonstrates how the photographer's influence extends as far as Clement Greenberg, who had to construct his position by imagining it in opposition to that of Stieglitz."--Jay Bochner, Université de Montréal