A Subversive Aesthetic


Miriam Schapiro

Born in Toronto, she studied painting at colleges in New york and Iowa. She married Paul Brach, an artist in 1946. Schapiro worked a series of odd jobs until she became a artist full-time in 1955. She originally painted in the Abstract Expressionist stlye. As her commitment to feminism grew during the 1960's, she developed her own personal style which she called femmage. Combining such commonplace elements as lace, fabric scraps, buttons, rickrack, sequins, and tea towels she transformed them into sophisticated compositions that often imply multiple layers of both space and meaning. Her recent works juxtapose intricately patterned abstract backgrounds with stylized human figures in motion-whether falling or dancing- made of brightly colored paper.