The 2022 prize was awarded to Mary Gabriel, whom the judges chose “for her exceptional history of the mid-century American art world and the five women artists now increasingly central to our larger picture of those decades, its artistic styles, relationships, and fates.”
Ninth Street Women is Gabriel’s most recent book, published in 2018. It is a five-part biography of postwar abstract expressionists Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler. The work “captures a New York art world on the cusp—or the precipice—of extraordinary celebrity and extravagant prices,” the New York Times wrote in its review, noting the work is “as complicated and capacious as the lives it depicts.” Gabriel has created “an affectionate tribute to the underappreciated women of America’s avant-garde,” as reviewed by Publishers Weekly. The Wall Street Journal noted: “It’s no mean feat to breathe life into five very different and very brave women, none of whom gave a whit about conventional mores.”
Gabriel is the author of Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution, published in 2011. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored and The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta and Claribel Cone.