“Schwabacher is a lyrical and literate writer . . . Hungry for Light is much more than an outsider’s challenge to canonical thinking about twentieth-century painters. It provides a fascinating look at how a woman of intelligence, sensitivity and talent who was all but ignored managed to create meaning in her life despite its pains and contradictions.” —Women’s Review of Books
“The journal is a poignant, lyrical, and meditative record of the feelings and experiences of a woman artist.” —Women Artists News
“Ethel Schwabacher was fierce, uncompromising, tough-minded, and passionately devoted to her painting. . . . Complex and fascinating are adjectives that barely do her justice. She is also a wonderful writer who unflinchingly confronts her own work and probes for its sources.” —Carolyn Kizer
“The ‘hunger for light’ in this journal is vivid, vital, compelling, and compulsive. Ethel Schwabacher’s confessions should be required reading for anyone interested not only in the psychology of the woman artist but, more generally, in the dynamics of creativity.” —Sandra Gilbert
“ . . . the journals reveal an admirable and fascinating personality, at once intensely passionate and deeply thoughtful.” —Naomi Bliven
“ . . . lyrically precise . . . These fragmentary jottings mingle joyous visions, ruminations on Michelangelo, Cézanne and Chinese art, an analysis of Schwabacher’s own creative process and meditations on old age. . . . Schwabacher battled suicidal impulses to produce luminous paintings, reproduced here in 33 color and black-and-white plates. . . . skillfully edited . . . ” —Publishers Weekly
This journal, kept from 1967 to 1980, takes the reader into the artist’s mind when she was at the height of her powers. An Abstract Expressionist who exhibited at the Betty Parsons Gallery, Schwabacher meditates in these pages on the sources of her own creativity, and she observes the process of her own aging and approaching death. Her record will become a valuable resource for research into the creative process as well as the art history and theory of our time.