This catalog presents works of sixteen leading contemporary artists that refer to ancient pictorial forms, patterns and symbols: Adel Abdessemed, Marina Abramovic, Sanford Biggers, Louise Bourgeois, Peter Buggenhout, Nathalie Djurberg, Amar Kanwar, Bharti Kher, Sigalit Landau, Tea Makipaa, Ana Mendieta, Mariella Mosler, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, Philip Taaffe, and Su-Mei Tse.
About the Author
Peter Fischer is director of the art museum Luzern, Switzerland.
Louise Bourgois (25 December 1911 - 31 May 2010),  was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman, which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman.She is recognized today as the founder of confessional art.
Nancy Spero (August 24, 1926 - October 18, 2009) was an American artist. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she had long been based in New York City. She was married to and collaborated with artist Leon Golub (1922-2004).
As both artist and activist, Nancy Spero's career has spanned fifty years. Her continuous engagement with contemporary political, social, and cultural concerns is renowned. She has chronicled wars and apocalyptic violence as well as articulating visions of ecstatic rebirth and the celebratory cycles of life. Her complex network of collective and individual voices was a catalyst for the creation of her figurative lexicon representing women from prehistory to the present in such epic-scale paintings and collage on paper as Torture of Women (1976), Notes in Time on Women (1979) and The First Language (1981).
Philip Taaffe (born 1955) is an American artist. An admirer of Matisse's cut-outs and of Synthetic Cubism, from the mid 1980s he began to borrow images and designs directly from more recent artists. In We Are Not Afraid (1985), he develops Barnett Newman's zip motif into a spiral; the title is a reply to Newman's series of paintings Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue (1966-70). In Defiance (1986), he reinterprets work by Bridget Riley.
His first solo exhibition was in New York in 1982. He has since been included in exhibitions at Carnegie International, two Sydney Bienniales, and three Whitney Bienniales. His work is held in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Barthi Kher was born 1969 in London, UK. Lives and works in New Delhi, India. She is known for her menagerie of resin-cast animals, which are covered with the bindi, and she also uses the bindi to make large, wall-based panels. (The bindi in India is traditionally a mark of pigment applied to the forehead.) Her international reputation includes important recent exhibitions such as 'Indian Summer: Contemporary Art in India', Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts, Paris, in 2005. She has had a series of solo exhibitions in New York, New Delhi, Amsterdam and in Bangalore, India, in early 2006.