Selections from Romaine Brooks’s unpublished memoir No Pleasant Memories expose the psyche and practice of this underrecognized queer, female artist. Most known for her bold and darkly painted portraits, Brooks was revolutionary in her feminist renderings of women in resistance. Openly queer, she challenged conceptions of gender and sexuality in her art, which also served as her refuge. While many of her male counterparts were disfiguring and cubing their subjects—often women—Brooks gave personhood and power to the figures she painted. Her frank approach to her complicated relationship with her mother, faith, wealth, sexuality, and gender is complemented by a keen wit that echoes the gray tones of her work.
Published by David Zwirner Books in 2022.