Pulitzer-nominated author to lecture at Bennington College


BENNINGTON — Author Mary Gabriel, who has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, will lecture at Bennington College on her acclaimed latest book "Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement that Changed Modern Art."

Gabriel's lecture will take place on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Tishman Auditorium on the college's campus. This event, which is sponsored by the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author after the lecture.

Bennington alum and Abstract Expressionist innovator Helen Frankenthaler '49 is among the culture-shifting women profiled in Gabriel's book. "Red Square," an important early, large-scale painting by Frankenthaler, will be auctioned this November in support of the College's Art for Access initiative.

"Gabriel's research is of particular relevance to Bennington because of the many Abstract Expressionist artists and critics who taught at the college and spent time in the region—and especially because she puts women at the center of the AbEx story," said Anne Thompson, director and curator of Usdan Gallery.

Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, "Ninth Street Women" is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come.

"The development of a culture is deeply consequential, and its story — even a very specialized piece of its story — requires no apologies or augmentation. And this piece of the art-world story happens to be very exciting, as brought to life in the balance of Gabriel's rich, serious-minded, and (in a good way) sometimes gossipy book," writes Claudia Roth Pierpont in her New Yorker review.

Mary Gabriel is the author of "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution," which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as of "Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored," and "The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta and Claribel Cone." She worked in Washington and London as a Reuters editor for nearly two decades and lives in Ireland.

Usdan Gallery is a hub for exhibitions of contemporary artists and ideas, engaging and advancing the College's history of innovation within the arts. The 3,200-square-foot space is located on the main level of the Helen Frankenthaler Visual Arts Center.



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