The Art of Audrey Niffenegger
A magnificent large-format book collecting all Audrey Niffenegger’s paintings and drawings
Otherworldly, provocative, and strange, Audrey Niffenegger’s art is a vital a part of her vision as her bestselling novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. Awake in the Dream World is a mid-career retrospective of Nifffenegger’s work, reflecting her talent for cultivating a captivating narrative exclusively through pictures and her own confrontations with life, mortality, and magic.
Niffenegger's fantastical body of work is reminiscent of renowned pen and ink predecessors such as Edward Gorey, Aubrey Beardsley, Egon Schiele, Edward Dulac, and Horst Janssen, but with a brutally honest and unapologetically strange female perspective that touches upon the universal trials of life - death and decay, love, jealousy, redemption, and the inevitability of change. Her works on paper, lithographs, and aquatints reflect the often surreal narratives of her artist's books. Through self-portraiture, Niffenegger reveals her own self-assurance and whimsy alongside anxiety and loneliness, probing darker corners of the human heart and mind, often exploring the hopeless struggle with what Shakespeare called 'this bloody tyrant, Time'.
Essays by Audrey Niffenegger, National Museum of Women in the Arts Curator of Book Arts Krystyna Wasserman, and Art Institute of Chicago Curator and School of the Art Institute Professor Mark Pascale explore the artist's influences and work.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts
“Spare, fable-like narratives featuring betrayals and metamorphoses, with touches of Aubrey Beardsley and Egon Schiele… As well as strange self-portraits and recent drawings on the themes of birth, death and books.”
Erica Wagner, New Statesman