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The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota

The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota
Edited By Jessica Marten

Josephine Tota (1910 –1996) was a seamstress and amateur artist who lived a conventional life among the Italian immigrant community in Rochester, New York. In her seventies, she spent countless hours painting in the privacy of her home, where she imbued over ninety small jewel-like paintings with the richness of her strange imagination. Tota captured and condensed anxieties accumulated over a lifetime.


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Overview

Josephine Tota (1910 –1996) was a seamstress and amateur artist who lived a conventional life among the Italian immigrant community in Rochester, New York. In her seventies, she spent countless hours painting in the privacy of her home, where she imbued over ninety small jewel-like paintings with the richness of her strange imagination. Tota captured and condensed anxieties accumulated over a lifetime. Her formidable paintings reference myriad art-historical and popular culture sources — medieval illuminated manuscripts, early Renaissance panel paintings, the work of Surrealist icons Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí, fairy tales, and children’s book illustrations — into private images of startling immediacy and timelessness. Tota’s work cannot be defined as entirely mainstream, self-taught, visionary, or surreal. It is this powerful body of work — dozens of untamed paintings in egg tempera and gilding on board, completed at the end of her life — that The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota explores and advocates for inclusion into the canon of self-taught, visionary art.

Exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester: The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota, July 15–September 9, 2018

Details

Publisher: RIT Press and Memorial Art Gallery (07/2018)
ISBN-13: 9781939125507
Binding: Softcover
Pages: 120
Illustrations: 130, mostly color
Size: 8.5 x 10 in.
Shipping Weight: 0.5lb

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Press Releases

The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota (University of Rochester)

Table of Contents

Foreword 

    Jonathan P. Binstock     vii

 

Introduction 

    Jessica Marten    ix

 

The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota 

    Jessica Marten    1

 

Tears of Blood:  Visionary Women at the Margins of Twentieth-Century Art 

    Janet Catherine Berlo    33

 

Catalogue of the Late Paintings of Josephine Tota    55

 

Acknowledgments    106

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