The complete art world story/essays of the fictional Madame Realism, collected for the first time.
The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories gathers together Lynne Tillman’s groundbreaking fiction/essays on culture and places, monuments, artworks, iconic TV shows, and received ideas, written in the third person to record the subtle, ironic, and wry observations of the playful but stern “Madame Realism.”
Through her use of a fictional character, Tillman devised a new genre of writing that melded fiction and theory, sensation, and critical thought, disseminating her third-person art writer’s observations in such magazines as Art in America and in a variety of art exhibition catalogs and artist books. Two decades after the original publication of these texts, her approach to investigation through embodied thought has been wholly absorbed by a new generation of artists and writers. Provocative and wholly pleasurable, Tillman’s stories/essays dissect the mundane with alarming precision. As Lydia Davis wrote of her work, “Our assumptions shift. The every day becomes strange, paradox is embraced, and the unexpected is always around the corner.”
This new collection also includes the complete stories of Tillman’s other persona, the quixotic author Paige Turner (whose investigation of the language of love overshoots any actual experience of it), and additional stories and essays that address figures such as the “Translation Artist” and Cindy Sherman.