Emily LaBarge

Emily LaBarge’s book Dog Days is due later this year.

At the Perimeter: On Shuvinai Ashoona

Emily LaBarge, 25 April 2024

Ablue creature​ – part platypus, part squid, part amorphous squiggle – scuttles behind a pale three-headed figure with one webbed foot. A naked human form being consumed by (or is it wearing? becoming one with?) a large orange octopus stands with an empty box of Kellogg’s cornflakes under one bare foot. A red-haired figure, placid face peeking out of its raised parka hood,...

At the Munch Museum: On Alice Neel

Emily LaBarge, 5 October 2023

Alice Neel​ was born in January 1900 and grew up in a conservative town in rural Pennsylvania. She ‘couldn’t stand Anglo-Saxons’, she later said, ‘their soda-cracker lives and their inhibitions’. In 1921, she quit her job as a secretary for the US air force and enrolled at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. She was influenced by the work of the...

At the Hepworth: Hannah Starkey

Emily LaBarge, 4 May 2023

Women looking​ at women. Girls looking at girls, looking at girls looking at girls. Women and girls alone, in pairs, threes, fours. Women and girls looking at themselves, which is a version of looking at each other but also something different. Women and girls looking back – looking towards, away, in profile, two-thirds and three-quarter views. One could fall in love with looking at...

Can one ‘write’ a landscape or ‘speak’ in colours? Etel Adnan liked to say that she painted in Arabic, but also that painting was ‘a language that’s not meant to be translated into words’.

At the Hayward: ‘The Woven Child’

Emily LaBarge, 21 April 2022

In Antony,​ the southern suburb of Paris where Louise Bourgeois spent her childhood, the river water had special properties. The Bièvre, which ran past the Bourgeois home, was thick with tannin, an important ingredient for the family’s tapestry restoration business: wool washed in this water is more receptive to dyeing agents – colours set fast and don’t fade. Her...

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