Despite mixed feelings from female artists, women-only art shows grow in popularity


All-women’s group art exhibitions, which fell out of favor in the ’80s and ’90s, are flourishing again, with at least a dozen galleries and museums featuring women-themed surveys that shine light on overlooked artists. Some artists are ambivalent about being viewed through the lens of gender — in 1976, for example, Georgia O’Keeffe refused to lend her work to an all-female exhibition in Los Angeles because she considered herself “one of the best painters,” period. Despite her success, neither O’Keeffe nor any other woman would break into Janson’s History of Art, the leading textbook, until 1987.

This spring will feature a number of an all-female shows, the most prominent of which is “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women,” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, the inaugural exhibition of the gallery’s new Los Angeles branch. Maura Reilly, founding curator of the Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, in New York, says that the all-women exhibitions are “curatorial correctives,” and should be encouraged. In 2015, an article written by Reilly for Artnews exposed a vast statistical gender imbalance in terms of museum exhibitions, permanent collections, prices, gallery representation, and press coverage. The all-female galleries provide an opportunity for younger artists to raise their profile, and historical exhibitions help older artists to take their rightful place within the context of larger movements.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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