The exhibitions chosen for the Fall CWA Picks collectively highlight the power of art to engage with medium and memory in diverse and thought-provoking ways. Each exhibition showcases artists who engage with the concept of memory, whether by challenging societal norms and values, redefining perfection, or addressing historical and environmental legacies. Together, these exhibitions emphasize the power of art to shape our understanding of the past and how it shapes our present.
September 7–21 November, 2023
Medium and Memory is an exhibition featuring conversations between eight diverse artists whose work centers on memory in its various forms. The work in the show aims to challenge the act of forgetting and harness the potential of art to aesthetically transform traumatic historical legacies, including war, famine, genocide, colonialism, deindustrialization, and the memory-altering effects of the digital age.
October 5, 2023–January 14, 2024
Barbican Art Gallery, London
RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology showcases the work of nearly fifty international women and gender nonconforming artists. Through film, photography, and installations, the exhibition delves into the interconnectedness of gender and ecology, advocating for a just and equitable society where both people and the environment are valued and treated fairly.
September 13–December 22, 2023
Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ
In 1986, Rutgers Distinguished Professor Emerita Judith K. Brodsky established the Brodsky Center to provide opportunities for women, gender nonconforming artists, and artists of color who were marginalized in the art world. This center, originally focused on print and papermaking, evolved into a hub of innovation, addressing contemporary concerns such as race, gender, climate, language, and immigration. The exhibition showcases artworks emblematic of the Brodsky Center’s mission to introduce new narratives into American culture and is organized thematically into sections reflecting its impact on art and society.
September 1–October 22, 2023
Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, Boston
The Habits of Reframing is a solo exhibition by Boston-based artist Alison Croney Moses, featuring two new series of wooden artworks. These pieces encourage viewers to consider their ability to shape their sense of self and their understanding of the world, while also challenging societal values, celebrating imperfections, and redefining perfection through sensory engagement with the materials and forms used by the artist.
September 16–November 26, 2023
The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago
In the fall of 2023, the Renaissance Society will host the first solo exhibition of Beirut-based artist Dala Nasser, featuring a site-specific commission designed to fill the Ren’s expansive exhibition space. Nasser’s interdisciplinary approach encompasses painting, performance, and film, with a focus on abstraction and alternative image-making. Her artwork, created by directly engaging with landscapes, offers a unique perspective by highlighting the marks of political and environmental erosion and toxicity, exploring themes of ecological decay, historical narratives, and the consequences of capitalist and colonial practices. The exhibition centers on the Adonis River, where Nasser produced her paintings inside the cave associated with the mythical figure Adonis, utilizing locally sourced materials, and incorporating three-dimensional spatial environments that evoke the Adonis temple and its surroundings.
July 7–October 29, 2023
San José Museum of Art
This is the first solo museum presentation of the work of Yolanda López, the pathbreaking Chicana artist and activist whose career in California spanned five decades. The exhibition presents a compendium of López’s work from the 1970s and 1980s, when she created an influential body of paintings, drawings, and collages that investigate and reimagine representations of women within Chicano/a/x culture and society at large.
August 31–November 12, 2023
Thacher Gallery, University of San Francisco
Curated by her archivist, Angelica Rodriguez, and son, Rio Yañez, this body of work reveals López’s inquisitive approach to artistic mediums and the feminist and political sensibilities that emerged in her practice from life experiences, research, and community activism. Artworks include drawings from her youth, protest designs, preparatory studies for her iconic 1978 Guadalupe series, photography, collage, and xerox art from 1980 and 1990s Mission, prints from her Women’s Work is Never Done series, as well as her final reflective works. This body of work reveals López’s inquisitive approach to artistic mediums and the feminist and political sensibilities that emerged in her practice from life experiences, research, and community activism.
September 16–November 18, 2023
Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
This collection of paintings and artifacts re-imagines the 1988 exhibition Hung Liu: Resident Alien, the culmination of Liu’s two-month artist residency at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco, presented at the downtown Monadnock Building, a sprawling, under-construction office space that offered Hung Liu a liberating and engaging opportunity. The original exhibition, which took place just five years after Liu immigrated to the US from her native China, was instrumental in bringing her work to the attention of the larger art world. The multimedia installation—composed of paintings, wall drawings, Chinese calligraphy, ceremonial objects from Chinatown, a pile of abacuses, and small mounds of fortune cookies—addressed the history and complexities of the immigrant experience, looking specifically at the history of Chinese immigration to San Francisco from the Gold Rush of 1849 to her own immigration to the US in 1984 and her subsequent status as a “resident alien.” This exploration was both a central theme of the 1988 show, and a focus Liu would pursue for the rest of her career.
June 30–December 10, 2023
SFMOMA, San Francisco
Chinese-born artist Hung Liu (1948–2021) created richly layered portraits and installations that interweave memory and history. This exhibition features works from SFMOMA’s collection, from her most significant paintings made in China during the tumult of the Cultural Revolution between 1966–76 to those created in the US during the 1990s and 2000s. Intimate and large-scale works blend landscapes and images from historical and family photographs with dripping brushwork. Together, they reveal Liu’s enduring commitment to “be a witness of my time” as she elevated her subjects to “mythic figures on the grander scale of history painting.”
August 26–November 4, 2023
Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
Born in Mexico and based in California’s Napa Valley, Arleene Correa Valencia creates paintings, textiles, and drawings that reflect on patterns of migration and family separation. Her recent work is inspired by the letters that she wrote to her father as a child, during a period when her father had migrated to the United States while Correa Valencia remained in Mexico. Correa Valencia draws on her family’s archives and correspondence to craft a visual language that considers the politics of visibility and the complexities of undocumented immigration.
May 18–October 22, 2023
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
New York–based Mika Rottenberg (b. 1976, Buenos Aires) employs a disarmingly absurd sense of humor to confront the paradoxes of global capitalism and uncover the surprising ways in which we are all connected. This exhibition presents Rottenberg’s most prominent videos, installations, and sculptures of the past decade in the first museum survey of her work ever to be presented on the West Coast. Explore a collection of vividly colorful video installations and kinetic sculptures that uncover the surreal qualities of mass production and consumption.
November 8, 2023– April 7, 2024
Tate Britain, London
This exhibition is a major survey of feminist art by over 100 women artists working in the UK. It explores how networks of women used radical ideas and rebellious methods to make an invaluable contribution to British culture. Through their creative practices, women’s liberation was forged against the backdrop of extreme social, economic, and political change.
Women in Revolt! brings together a wide variety of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, film, and photography. It explores and reflects on issues and events such as: the British Women’s Liberation movement, the fight for legal changes impacting women, maternal and domestic experiences, punk, and independent music, Greenham Common and the peace movement, the visibility of Black and South Asian Women Artists, Section 28 and the AIDS pandemic.
The show celebrates the work and lived experiences of a hugely diverse group of women. Many who, frequently working outside mainstream art institutions, have largely been left out of artistic narratives. Women in Revolt! presents many of these works for the first time since the 1970s.
September 13, 2023–January 21, 2024
REDCAT, Los Angeles
In 1970, artist Judy Chicago pioneered a feminist model for art and education with her students at Fresno State College. Chicago was invited by Miriam Schapiro to collaboratively expand this program at CalArts in 1971, where they would go on to develop radical and now influential forms of art, pedagogy, and performance. The program began a cycle of collective activity with the contribution of numerous students, faculty, artists, and designers, many of whom are now considered pivotal artists in feminist art history.
This exhibition acknowledges the many generations of women, trans, queer, and non-binary faculty, students, and artists at CalArts who have stewarded these histories through teaching, archiving, and experimenting. Engaging with these initial moments, while also drawing connections with subsequent contributions, The Feminist Art Program (1970–1975): Cycles of Collectivity brings together these histories through its diverse feminisms, gender theories, and transfeminismos. The exhibition gathers materials from institutional and personal archives, joining them with new responsive artworks by CalArts alumni ak jenkins, Andrea Bowers, Gala Porras-Kim, and Suzanne Lacy. The show includes a special presentation of The Performing Archive by Leslie Labowitz Starus and Lacy. The Feminist Art Program (1970–1975): Cycles of Collectivity presents an ever-growing feminist contribution to art and pedagogy with a multiplicity of voices, contexts, and identities, with an intergenerational collective of scholars, artists, activists, and curators contributing to the research, memory, syllabi, and artworks on display.
CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) curates a seasonal list of must-see exhibitions. The CWA Summer 2023 picks highlight the rich contributions of women-identifying African, Latinx, and Indigenous artists, bringing their voices to the forefront. These artists explore the legacies of their respective mediums and their enduring significance in contemporary art. Unafraid to tackle pressing social issues, their works offer a powerful lens through which to examine themes of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. By amplifying marginalized perspectives, these exhibitions provoke meaningful conversations and challenge existing narratives in the art world.
Tender Loving Care
July 22, 2023–July 28, 2025
Museum of Fine Art, Boston
This exhibition explores the theme of care through contemporary art. The act of creating and appreciating art is a form of care, and the exhibition highlights how artists address this concept through their materials, ideas, and processes. The exhibition showcases around 100 works from the museum’s collection, organized into five thematic groupings: threads, thresholds, rest, vibrant matter, and adoration. Examples of care in art can be seen in Gisela Charfauros McDaniel’s portrait of her mother, Nick Cave’s Sound Suit, and textiles and fiber art by Sheila Hicks, Howardena Pindell, and Jane Sauer. Through these works and others, visitors are invited to consider how care can inspire new models for living and feeling in the present and the future.
Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Art as a Tool for Combatting Inequity and Injustice
August 25–September 30, 2023
Buffalo NY: Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo Arts Studio + Buffalo Game Space
In collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Michigan State University, and SUNY Buffalo’s Amatryx Lab & Studio, this exhibition features a range of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Buffalo-based artists and creatives to center marginalized experiences of the pandemic and social justice concerns.
Through August 20, 2023
Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco
BLACK VENUS, curated by Aindrea Emelife is an exhibition that surveys the legacy of Black Women in visual culture – from fetishized, colonial-era caricatures to the present-day reclamation of the rich complexity of Black womanhood by 18 artists (of numerous nationalities and with birth years spanning 1942 to 1997). This exhibition is a celebration of Black beauty, an investigation into the many faces of Black femininity and the shaping of Black women in the public consciousness – then and now.
In BLACK VENUS, archival depictions of Baartman and other historical Black women pair with the vibrant, narrative portraiture by some of today’s most influential Black image-makers whose work deals with layered narratives of Black femininity.
This exhibition reckons with difficult visual histories. It features some themes and images that are derogatory and many that are empowering. Sensitive visitors should be aware that several artists in the exhibition employ nudity and sexual imagery to explore their ideas.
Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archeology of Memory
Through August 13, 2023
UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Berkeley
Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory is the first retrospective exhibition of the work of longtime Bay Area artist Mesa-Bains. Presenting work from the entirety of her career for the first time, this exhibition, which features nearly 60 works in a range of media, including fourteen major installations, celebrates Mesa-Bains’s important contributions to the field of contemporary art locally and globally.
Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest
Through July 9, 2023
Bard Graduate Center, NYC
Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest invites you to explore the world of Navajo weaving. This dynamic gallery and online experience presents never-before-seen textiles created by Diné artists. These historic blankets, garments, and rugs from the American Museum of Natural History are situated alongside contemporary works by Diné weavers and visual artists, such as Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete. Shaped by the Loom highlights seasonal cycles that guide the harvesting of dye plants, the cosmologies that inform a weaver’s work, and the songs, stories, and prayers that are woven into every piece. The items in the exhibition will be accompanied by artist interviews, interactive storytelling, and stunning panoramic views of the Navajo Nation. Shaped by the Loom elevates the voices of Indigenous artists and makers to express the cultural legacy and continued vibrancy of weaving traditions in the American Southwest.
The Figure, Reclaimed
A Renaissance of the female body in visual culture
July 5–August 4, 2023
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center, Missouri State University
Throughout the history of visual culture, figurative painting has been regarded as one of the highest forms of Western art. Dazzling displays of hyper-realistic anatomical mastery and expansive narrative scenes depicting multiple figures through complex perspectives dominated as the pinnacle of art-making for centuries. While the artists of these historic images were all white male painters, it was the female body that was often leveraged for these narratives. Further, female artists were also excluded from painting these historic scenes and denied access to nude models to even attempt to study the art of figural painting.
The Figure, Reclaimed, seeks to celebrate and explore the Renaissance of the female body and the female figurative painter in visual culture. Through the work of Aneka Ingold and Livia Xandersmith, this exhibition explores how female figurative painters have combined the traditional art of figurative painting with contemporary, stylized approaches to redefine and expand upon what it means to be a figurative painter, ruminate on the female experience, and how representations of the female body are consumed.
As women face losing bodily autonomy in today’s contemporary society, what does it mean to be a female figurative painter in today’s context? What stories must be told on the scale of figurative painting about what it means to identify as a woman today? Why is the female body a contested landscape, and why does this form hold a sense of home base for visual culture? Is it the embodied connection to humanity and life?
Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich: Too Bright to See
Perez Art Museum, Miami
Through January 7, 2024
Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich (b. 1987) is a filmmaker and artist whose work blends narrative and documentary traditions to explore stories and experiences of Black women in the Americas.
Hunt-Ehrlich’s experimental narrative artwork Too Bright to See (Part I) draws on her extensive research on the legacy of Suzanne Roussi-Césaire, a writer and anticolonial and feminist activist from Martinique who, along with her husband, Aimé Césaire, was at the forefront of the Négritude movement during the first half of the 20th century. Roussi-Césaire would also become an important Surrealist thinker, influencing the likes of painter Wifredo Lam and writer André Breton. However, despite her critical contributions to Caribbean thought and Surrealist discourse, until recently much of her work was overlooked.
Too Bright to See (Part I) weaves archival materials with cinematic narrative scenes filmed with an unconventional and modern cast. Drawing inspiration from Caribbean aesthetics and Surrealist artwork, this film installation brings attention to new aspects of Roussi-Césaire’s legacy that are undocumented in the public arena, while addressing the broader question of the continued erasure of women from historical accounts.
Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now
Barbican Art Gallery, London
June 21–September 3, 2023
Opening 22 June 2023, Barbican Art Gallery is proud to present the first major solo exhibition of Carrie Mae Weems in a UK institution. Widely considered to be one of the most influential American artists working today, Weems (b.1953) is celebrated for her exploration of cultural identity, power structures, desire, and social justice through a body of work that develops questioning narratives around race, gender, history, class and their systems of representation.
Highlighting her remarkably diverse and radical practice, this survey brings together an outstanding selection of photographic series, films, and installations spanning over three decades, many of which have never been seen before in the UK. Presenting the development of her unique poetic gaze and formal language from the early 1990s to the present day, this exhibition reflects on Weems’s pioneering career. On display are works from her early iconic Kitchen Table Series (1990) which explores how power dynamics are articulated in the domestic sphere and the potential of the home as a space for resistance, to her acclaimed series Roaming (2006) and Museums (2016) where Weems’s muse confronts architecture as the materialisation of political and cultural power. Her oeuvre challenges dominant ideologies and historical narratives created by and disseminated within science, architecture, photography, and mass media.
The exhibition is accompanied by Carrie Mae Weems: Reflections for Now, the first publication devoted to the artist’s writings. It will highlight Weems’s influence as an intellectual, reflecting the dual nature of her career as an artist and activist. A public programme of events, including a programme of films in Barbican cinema, will also run throughout the course of the exhibition.
Gio Swaby: Fresh Up
Through July 3, 2023
Art Institute of Chicago
Gio Swaby is a multidisciplinary artist whose textile-based practice explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood. Her embroidered portraits are anchored in the connections she forges with her subjects: each portrait begins with a photo shoot in which her sitters are captured in a moment of self-awareness and empowerment. In her textile interpretations, Swaby foregrounds their hair, clothing, and jewelry—highlighting and celebrating the subjects’ use of fashion as unapologetic self-definition and self-expression.
This exhibition—Swaby’s first solo museum show—brings together seven of Swaby’s series from 2017 through 2021, such as My Hands Are Clean, Love Letters, and Pretty Pretty, along with approximately 15 new works, including her largest work to date, a commission for the US Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas. The title of the show, Fresh Up, developed with the artist, is a Bahamian phrase often used as a way to compliment someone’s style or confident way of being. Swaby has remarked, “It holds a lot of positivity and joy. It also speaks to the tone of confidence and power that I want to create with these works. I love that it is a way to form connections through a simple phrase.”
Lynn Hershman Leeson: Phantom Limb
Through July 8, 2023
Altman Seigel, San Francisco
Altman Siegel proudly presents a historical exhibition of works from Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Phantom Limb series, which was created in the 1980s. At the time that it was created, the Phantom Limb collages illustrated the more insidious impacts of mass media and technology on women’s bodies. Created prior to the advent of Photoshop, this body of work borrows from the visual language of advertising, fusing female forms with technology. Seductively posed women merge with cameras, TV screens, and electrical plugs, pointing to ways in which gendered mass media representations shape and distort women’s self-image. At once alluring and disarming, these black-and-white photo collages grapple with the absorption of female identity into modern media at a time when the depths of this issue were just beginning to be explored.
In this series Hershman Leeson was already musing on the implications of surveillance when she describes cameras as a “capture system”:
“This photographic series…suggests that we are not only being watched by surveillance systems, but that ‘capture’ systems are endemic to our society. The series questions individual complicity in a system that simultaneously steals images and warps personal identity. The seductive alliance of surveillance and capture inspired the sexually provocative positions in the anthropomorphic images.” – Lynn Hershman Leeson
The CAA Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) Winter Picks include exhibitions and events that explore language through form, abstraction, the archive, and narrative. The artists included in this season’s picks investigate language and how it shapes our vision and experience of the world. They also reveal the systems of power embedded within language and how it often acts as a mediator.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Until August 31, 2023
Put It This Way includes almost a century of work from fifty women and nonbinary artists in the Hirshhorn’s collection. The exhibit presents a range of media from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular emphasis on the Hirshhorn’s mission to highlight global voices.
Until January 28, 2023
Figge Art Museum
Language and invented vocabulary made up of geometric shapes, marks, and colors are central to Caroline Kent’s practice. Her work challenges the viewer to consider how the indecipherable might play a role in their understanding of the world.
Until March 4, 2023
Friday January 27, 2023
This two-day conference at Harvard Radcliffe Institute will explore how Roe v. Wade and its aftermath shaped the United States and the world beyond it for nearly half a century. The conference will include lectures and panel discussions from experts in constitutional law, historians, health policy advocates, and other scholars. An accompanying exhibition curated by Mary Ziegler, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law, will also be on view through March 4, 2023.
Until April 23, 2023
re:collection includes the work of five artists—Ali Cherri, Nicole Cherubini, Lily Cox-Richard, NIC Kay, and SANGREE—whose work reconsiders the Tufts University collection. Specifically, the artists explored about 200 objects from the fifth century BCE to the seventh century CE, including early Greco-Roman ceramics, stone carvings, pre-Columbian vessels, jewelry, and textiles. The exhibition has a range of approaches, from performance and installation to sculpture and painting.
This fall, there are wonderful exhibitions devoted to the work of women artists. We have linked a few of them here through the theme of care and care’s connection to the urgent crisis in which legal protections for women’s bodily autonomy have been taken away right before our eyes. The artwork featured in the exhibitions below does not explicitly take up abortion bans and restrictions. Still, they provoke viewers to see women with complexity, and not as natural resources of care. With their inventive imagery, forms, materials, and ideas, each artist implicitly asserts that women’s bodies are not transparent containers for other people’s purposes. Rather, the artists create images that are layered sites, dense with women’s singular desires to imagine and place themselves in worlds of their own making.
Toni Pepe: An Ordinary Devotion
Danforth Art Museum, Framingham State University, Massachusetts
October 8, 2022—January 29, 2022
Artifacts of caregiving and its complications, these archival inkjet prints by Toni Pepe explore the tension between the analytic mind and the tenderness of touch that maternal care encompasses. Each image depicts an ordinary scene in which care is needed or expressed, but Pepe’s textual markings and imprints index care’s contradictions instead of suffusing them in the aura of idealization and satisfaction. Pepe suggests motherhood is equally about violence and abuse as it is about devotion and nurturing. All are ordinary, but when framed together in such intimate proximity, these dimensions of maternal care trouble societal expectations about what a woman should sacrifice in the name of motherhood and challenge the accepted visual tropes of a woman as a caregiver.
52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
June 6, 2022—January 8, 2023
Proving that we can both revisit feminist art’s dynamic past and witness its ongoing pertinence in an equally dynamic and transformative future, 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1971. 52 Artists showcases work by the artists included in the original 1971 exhibition alongside a new roster of twenty-six female-identifying or nonbinary emerging artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades. 52 Artists encompasses the entirety of the museum (approx. 8,000 sq. ft)—the first exhibition to do so in The Aldrich’s new building, which was inaugurated in 2004. The result is an exhilarating array of styles, forms, mediums, and subjects, which creates an archive of feminist expression that is, according to curator Amy Smith-Stewart, “inclusive, expansive, elastic, and free.”
Lippard’s original 1971 exhibition at The Aldrich was one of the first institutional responses to the issue of women artists’ invisibility in museums and galleries. More specifically, Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists offered a rejoinder to the protests by the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee (founded by Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, and Lucy Lippard) over the absence of women in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1970 Sculpture Annual. Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists opened the floodgates to a host of other feminist exhibitions throughout the 1970s, signaling Lippard’s emergence as a visionary feminist curator and critic and marking the debut of many groundbreaking artists. Lippard viewed curating this landmark exhibition as an activist gesture. As she explains in the catalog, “I took on this show because I knew there were many women artists whose work was as good or better than that currently being shown, but who, because of the prevailingly discriminatory policies of most galleries and museums, can rarely get anyone to visit their studios or take them as seriously as their male counterparts.” With this radical exhibition, Lippard arguably founded the feminist curatorial practice in this country, and 52 Artists underscores its ongoing influence.
Amy Sherald. The World We Make
Hauser & Wirth, London
October 12—December 23, 2022
Amy Sherald is acclaimed for her paintings of Black Americans that have become landmarks in the grand tradition of social portraiture—a tradition that for too long excluded the Black men, women, families, and artists whose lives have often placed to the side of public narratives even as they have been inextricable from them. Quiet and still but also bright with vibrant, dynamic colors, Sherald’s portraits place her subjects in everyday settings that ultimately elude viewers’ full grasp but also immortalize their depth and significance. In this new body of work on display at Hauser & Wirth, she continues confronting the Western canon of portrait painting by drawing from iconic images and deploying them to carefully reveal the worlds Black people have made for themselves.
Carolee Schneeman, Body Politics
Barbican Centre, London
September 8, 2022—January 8, 2023
Carolee Schneemann, Body Politics is the first survey in the UK of the work of American artist Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019) and the first major exhibition since her death in 2019. Tracing Schneemann’s diverse, transgressive, and interdisciplinary work over six decades, the show celebrates a radical and pioneering artist who remains a feminist icon and point of reference for many contemporary artists and thinkers. Body Politics reveals that Schneeman addressed urgent topics from sexual expression and the objectification of women to human and animal suffering and the violence of war. It shows that she explored the precarity of existence and art as a model of care. Spanning the range of Schneeman’s output and exhibiting rarely seen archival material that includes scores, sketches, scrapbooks, programs, and costumes, Carolee Schneeman, Body Politics positions her as one of the most relevant, provocative, and inspiring artists of the last century.
Mickalene Thomas: Avec Monet
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
October 13, 2022—February 6th, 2023
Mickalene Thomas has created a distinct visual vocabulary of Black erotica, Black sexuality, and Black queer aesthetics centered around joy and pleasure. This exhibition highlights the sensuous depths of her art historical imagination and the intimacy of her collaborations with the past. On display in Mickalene Thomas: Avec Monet are three new large-scale collages, one monumental painting, and an immersive site-specific installation featuring her 2016 video/sculpture Me As Muse. These works deepen our view of Thomas’ vivid, celebratory style and attest to her time as an artist-in-residence at Claude Monet’s home in Giverny, France, in 2011.
Martine Syms: She Mad Season One
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
July 2, 2022—February 12, 2023
This solo exhibition features Martine Syms’s She Mad series. This ongoing conceptual project takes the form of a semi-autobiographical sitcom about a young woman trying to make it as an artist in Los Angeles. Drawing from a range of sources, including early cinema, television shows, advertisements, and internet memes, Syms, known for her humor and biting social commentary, dissects the ways Black experiences are mediated on television, in film, and online. The show marks the US premiere of the fifth and newest episode of She Mad—and the first time that the series is shown in its entirety.
Martine Syms: She Mad Season One situates the five video artworks within an immersive sculptural installation constructed from exposed aluminum studs painted in the artist’s signature shade of purple—a reference to both the chroma key backdrops frequently used in post-production of films and television shows and Alice Walker’s 1982 novel The Color Purple. Like the exposed walls of the installation, Syms’s videos lay bare the structures that shape the images and videos we consume.
Close Enough: New Perspectives from 12 Women Photographers at Magnum
International Center of Photography, New York
September 29, 2022—January 9, 2023
Close Enough: New Perspectives from 12 Women Photographers of Magnum presents pivotal projects in the careers of 12 contemporary women photographers of Magnum Photos, the pioneering photography collective. With a title inspired by Magnum co-founder Robert Capa’s quote “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” Close Enough presents more than 150 works, including Sabiha Çimen’s explorations of the experiences of young Islamic women in Turkey; Alessandra Sanguinetti’s long-term collaboration with the rural Argentinean cousins Guille and Belinda as they evolve from childhood into adulthood; Bieke Depoorter’s multiyear, multiform project Agata, about a young club performer in Paris; and Susan Meiselas’ work with women who sought refuge from domestic violence in the Midlands, UK. The exhibition also creates space for the photographers to narrate their creative journeys, providing vantage points into the extraordinary relationships they create within global situations, communities, and individual subjects.
Silvia Kolbowski: Who will save us?
Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland
September 4, 2022–November 27, 2022
In the two exhibition spaces at Kunsthaus Glarus, Silvia Kolbowski presents the video work Who will save us? (2022) and Missing Asher (2019) The work Who will save us? was created especially for this exhibition. The video is a “mashup” of two films: Metropolis (1927, directed by Fritz Lang) and THX 1138 (1971, directed by George Lucas), both futuristic science-fiction films about life in hierarchical two-class societies. Distilling over three hours of film into a 14-minute film loop, Kolbowski’s experimental compilation of footage creates a new narrative that resonates with the prescience of the original films but relates to the present political moment, in which the psychological aspects of group dynamics interact with neoliberal capitalism’s embrace of technology and polarized wealth. Another video, Missing Asher (2019), also makes time into a medium. This artwork, which includes Kolbowski’s correspondence with the influential conceptual artist Michael Asher – raises the question of whether the de facto stipulations of the art market are permanently aligned against conceptual, research-based works.
Exhibitions and Scholarship Selected by the Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA)
If trauma names the psychic impact of damaging events, it also points to the possibility of working through the mute immobility that is trauma’s primary effect. Gender hierarchies are part of trauma and the recovery from it. In What Does a Woman Want? Reading and Sexual Difference (1993), Shoshana Felman makes a broad and provocative claim: “every woman’s life contains explicitly or in implicit ways, the story of trauma.” The scholarship and exhibitions featured here substantiate Felman’s insight. In a few exhibitions, trauma is pronounced and linked to specific events, such as Russia’s assault on Ukraine. In others, trauma must be discerned in portrayals that attest to the diffuse reality of gender inequity. All of the work tells us that the current historical moment is rife with danger and violence and thereby underscores the necessity of feminism’s insights.
Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed.
Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Classroom
Jocelyn E. Marshall and Candace Skibba (eds.)
Emerald Publishing, 2022
What role can teaching play in the effort to address gender-based violence? This collection offers practical, creative, and theoretical strategies for addressing this specific form of trauma in the classroom. The editors assert that teaching can create spaces that counter the “silence” and “unempathetic discourse” that gender-based violence most often meets when it is brought into the open. Featuring the artwork of and scholarship on the indigenous artist Julia Rose Sutherland, as well as a conversation between curators Monika Fabijanska and Dineke Van der Walt, Trauma-Informed Pedagogy foregrounds visual art practices as tools for exploring trauma and finding possibilities for recovery. This makes perfect sense, given the “troublesome visual representations” that block out the fact that gender-based violence is pervasive but systematically denied, a trauma in and of itself.
Women Painting Women
Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Through September 25, 2022
Feminist art tends to be associated with practices that defy medium, genre, and the art historical canon, but what about the women painters who situate their work firmly in the figurative tradition? Curated by Andrea Karnes, Women Painting Women features the work of forty-six painters who have made women their subjects since the 1960s and illuminates the feminism that can animate figuration. Creatively rendering women’s “bodies, gestures, and individuality,” together these portraits play with a range of scales that move from the modest (Somaya Critchlow) to the gigantic (Jenny Saville) and suggest the spaces allotted to women and the spaces they want to claim. Women Painting Women is a refreshingly straightforward but decidedly necessary theme, given how rare it is to see women as artists and artistic subjects at the same time.
Martine Syms, Neural Swamp
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Through October 30, 2022
Martine Syms’ multi-channel video installation Neural Swamp deploys the tactics of surveillance, cinema, and sport to investigate what it means to be a Black woman in a hyper-digitized world. Blurring the line between horror and humor, Syms works with algorithms and artificial intelligence to question the technologies that erase and exploit Black bodies, voices, and narratives. Accompanied by Kit’s World, a series of videos that also explore technological mediation, Neural Swamp was commissioned by the Future Fields commission in Time-Based Media.
Women at War
Fridman Gallery, New York
July 6 through August 26, 2022
In collaboration with Voloshyn Gallery in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monika Fabijanska curated this timely exhibition that documents how Ukrainian women artists explore the gendered dimensions and consequences of war. Several artworks were made after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, others date from the eight years of war following the annexation of Crimea and the creation of separate ‘republics’ in Donbas in 2014. Together the artwork in Women at War poses questions about women as the natural victims of war and creates a nuanced picture, both of Ukrainian feminism, and the visual practices that have accompanied it. Through a wide array of themes, mediums, styles, Women at War narrates a nuanced history of women in Ukraine and is, more broadly, a historiographic project that meditates on how women become visible when history is written as a war against their agency.
Tate Britain, London
Through October 16, 2022
One of Britain’s most beloved contemporary artists, Cornelia Parker works with domestic objects and reconfigures their scale through playful visual storytelling that often defies gravity. By doing so, Parker’s sculptures materialize the violence that undergirds everyday life and suspends it in the field of vision for all to see.
Ancestors Know Who We Are
National Museum of the American Indian
The Smithsonian, Washington D.C.
Ancestors Know Who We Are is the Smithsonian’s first exhibition to feature Black-indigenous women artists. The title is borrowed from Storm Webber’s 2016 letterpress print, a statement she crafted in black sans serif letters in response to comments that she is neither Black nor Native enough. Across a range of mediums that trouble distinctions between tradition and the contemporary , the artists in this exhibition challenge assumptions that Native and Black experiences have essential and easily discernible features. In so doing, they unsettle the visual economy of race and the permission it gives to question who people are.
Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles
Through September 4, 2022
This is Andrea Bowers’ first museum retrospective and it surveys two decades of her artwork’s intimate connection to activism. A large part of Bowers’ work reframes protest banners and posters to show that political address is a form of creative expression that seeks to imagine and write more just worlds. Isolation and despair haunt this artwork, but the austerity Bowers brings to her images of protest ultimately draws attention to the bravery of individual activists as they seek collectivities that can confront and transform the regressive politics of twenty-first century mobs.
Yayoi Kusama, A Poem in My Heart
Yayoi Kusama Museum
Through August 28, 2022
This exhibition highlights the Surrealism that pulsates through Yayoi Kusama’s hallucinatory visions. Featuring paintings from the 1950s, viewers can see further into the artist’s inner landscapes and psychic worlds. The artwork overflows with organic, idiosyncratic forms that twist and undulate to reveal the poetics of Kusama’s creative heart.
Suzanne Lacy, The Medium is Not the Only Message
Queens, New York
Through August 14, 2022
The Medium is Not the Only Message is a major survey of an artist who helped define feminist performance in the 1970s. Lacy has consistently put social issues—sex work, violence against women, racism, labor rights, poverty, and aging—at the center of her work. In recent years, she has become an artist who expands the reach of the museum, bringing institutions into the public worlds in which they are situated. This exhibition focuses on two dimensions of Lacy’s practice: personal narrative and conversation. Both underscore the value she places on relationality, co-creation, and mutual learning, all of which rebuff the presumption that technological mediums really allow people to communicate with each other. Featured projects were selected for their connections to Queens and demonstrate Lacy’s commitment to community-based practices that move “Between the Door and the Street,” the title of a 2013 project that featured women talking about the issues that impact their lives.
The March and April “picks” include exhibitions that encourage viewers to reframe familiar historical narratives and hierarchies. The content explored by these artists ranges from political icons to advertising and myth; and their approaches weave together tradition with experimentation. The works in these exhibitions move between the past and the present, providing a perspective tied to both individual and collective memory.
Angela Davis — Seize the Time
September 08, 2021 – June 15, 2022
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
This exhibition is inspired by an archive in Oakland, California, collected and curated by Lisbet Tellefsen and includes contemporary works focused on the political icon, Angela Davis. The exhibit provides a rich and layered portrait of a public figure, whose image, for decades, has been associated with revolution, anti-racism, and social justice.
De: Lata, works by Bibiana Suarez
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Chicago, IL
Puerto Rican artist Bibiana Suárez’s colorful paintings of image and text are directly inspired by her observations of food labels. The title of the show is a play on words that points toward her motivations and includes the verb delatar (to be a bore) and the noun lata (can). Suarez is interested in exploring the often-misleading representations of contemporary Latinas and the marketing of Latino culture through food and advertising.
Harmonia Rosales: Entwined
January 19, 2022 – May 1, 2022
Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara
This exhibition presents work by the Afro-Cuban American artist Harmonia Rosales. Rosales’ paintings pull from Greek and Yoruba mythologies and encourage viewers to question historical representations of women.
Agency: Feminist Art and Power
January 22, 2022 – June 5, 2022
Museum of Sonoma County
Agency: Feminist Art and Power is an exhibition curated by Karen M. Gutfreund and presented in collaboration with the Feminist Art Project. The twenty-eight exhibiting womxn artists represent a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. The work explores notions of freedom, race and identity.
Hear Me Roar: Women Photographers
August 23, 2021 – May 27, 2022
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Hear Me Roar: Women Photographers is a series of exhibitions organized in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first class of undergraduate women at Lehigh University. Each exhibit highlights the work of women photographers currently found in the University’s collection.
Featured artists include: Holly Andres, Kristin Capp, Sandra Eleta, Donna Ferrato, Florence Meyer Homolka, Jeanine Michna-Bales, Lydia Panas, Joyce Tenneson, Eugenia Vargas-Pereira, and Jennifer Williams.
To Know the Fire: Pueblo Women Potters and the Shaping of History
September 3, 2022
Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
To Know the Fire includes a selection of earthenware vessels from the Pueblo communities of New Mexico and Arizona generously gifted to KAM by the late George Ogura. The art of pottery making was a skill handed down through generations of women and continues today. It is also a practice steeped in collaboration and shared resources. Many of the pieces included in the show are dated between the 1930s and 1980s by artists from the acclaimed Nampeyo (Hopi-Tewa Pueblo), Navasie (Hopi Pueblo), Lewis (Acoma Pueblo), and Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo) families. A selection of more recent miniature vessels also demonstrates the potters’ virtuosity, producing exquisitely detailed, minute replicas.
Sharon Norwood: The Root of the Matter
February 3, 2002 – May 28, 2022
Washington and Lee University, Lexington VA
This exhibition features the work of Sharon Norwood, who explores the conceptual role of line and its relationship to the body and race. Norwood’s practice involves a range of approaches including ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, and video. The alterations the artist makes to found objects encourages viewers to expand their view of historical narratives.
Opener 34: Ruby Sky Stiler—New Patterns
January 29, 2022 – May 15, 2022
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
Ruby Sky Stiler’s work is deeply connected to the past, while still grounded in the contemporary. From Greco-Roman sculpture to iPhone photographs, Stiler weaves content and material, breaking down time and temporal hierarchies and allowing viewers to oscillate between the past and the
present. The exhibit includes a site-specific mural for the Tang Teaching Museum, as well relief paintings, and large-scale sculpture.
Women, Surrealism, and Abstraction
August 25, 2020 – May 7, 2022
Utah State University, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah
Women, Surrealism, and Abstraction is an exhibit consisting of work found in the Museum collection and highlights the often-overlooked female, surrealist artists of the 20th century. The exhibit expands our understanding of Surrealism by including a range of mediums beyond painting and sculpture from photography and printmaking to fiber arts.
February 18, 2022 – April 2, 2022
4859 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
This exhibition, organized by LAND and Anat Ebgi Gallery celebrates the 50th anniversary of Womanhouse. Through a series of performances, film screenings, and archival materials, this exhibition shares the history, trajectory and current influence of Womanhouse and west coast Feminist Art.
posted by CAA — January 31, 2022
The January/February “Picks” selected by the Committee on Women in the Arts reflect on the difficult pursuit of creative freedom through idiosyncratic yet careful explorations of color, form, genre, and medium as well as voice and address. The results are odd, anxious atmospheres that test reality’s bodily contours and lament the strange alienations and lurking injustices that constitute normalcy.
Mika Tajima: You Must Be Free
January 22 through March 12, 2022
Kayne Griffin, Los Angeles
From an early investigation into the regulatory and relational structures of human bodies in built environments, Mika Tajima’s recent work extends her inquiry into the conditions of human agency and self-determinacy. This exhibition focuses on the necessity and impossibility of freedom in our contemporary moment. The title, You Must Be Free, appears as an external command to achieve freedom and produces a contradictory tension that reveals a social limit to its practice. The speech act presents freedom as a pressing desire and controlling demand on the subject, underlining the entwinement of control and freedom. The animating force of this paradoxical directive is manifested in this exhibition as air pressure and its circulation through contained and porous objects and architecture.
Brittany Tucker: Burnout
January 8 through February 5, 2022
Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Burnout is a solo exhibition by Vienna-based Brittany Tucker featuring new large-scale loosely rendered paintings, half of which incorporate text that was spray-painted on in a street-tag manner. Tucker’s works of the past few years often juxtaposed a realistic likeness of the artist interacting with cartoon-like characters. In these works, her principal cartoon nemesis of the past, a smiling, often taunting white man, is featured in but one canvas, where he is spilling black paint off the bottom edge of the canvas. Hand prints and foot prints mark the background around him, but Tucker is otherwise absent from the scene. When Tucker’s likeness appears in other works, she appears to be uncomfortable, contorted, or obscured. According to the artist, these works represent her desire to shut out the world’s expectations of a Black female artist and to work more impulsively. As a consequence, they represent an unrestrained portrait of her psychological state as an expat living, working and studying in Vienna in which confusion, sadness, emotional fragility, self-reflection, honesty and ultimately courage and optimism are portrayed.
Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game
October 28, 2021 through April 3, 2022
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game includes approximately 40 paintings that show the remarkable continuity and assiduity of Semmel’s practice, and focus on four main themes—erotic abstraction; the self; expressive figuration; and photography and painting—that traverse five decades of work and reveal a strong counter narrative to the traditional telling of the history of painting in the United States from the late 1960s to today. Semmel’s work reflects the ongoing struggle for women’s equal representation and power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexuality while centering female empowerment through the self. In Semmel’s own words: “I do not pretend to address the problems of all women in the world. My work is personal and I speak for myself. Women artists have to speak for themselves and then unite to fight the political fight.”
January 14 through March 13, 2022
Camden Art Centre, Arkwright Road, London
Attending to the idiosyncratic and eccentric, to personal mythologies and embodied experience, painter Allison Katz treats her own biography as source material, as well as drawing from dream objects, art historical references, and the texture of everyday life. Her exhibition unfolds through a series of biographical anecdotes and moments of synchronicity, opening the world up to a game of allusions, double entendre, slips and wordplay.
Emily: Desert Painter of Australia
January 21 through March 12, 2022
Gagosian, Paris, France
Emily: Desert Painter of Australia is the first solo exhibition in France of the work of Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910–1996). Emily is unique among Indigenous Australian painters for her rapid and systematic exploration of different styles and for her bold inventiveness with regard to form and color. Over time, her mesmerizing early “dot” paintings ceded to more gestural canvases, reduced in their detail and liberated in their formal qualities. Until her death in 1996, she painted prolifically on both intimate and grand scale, with brushes, sticks, and fingertips on unstretched linen laid flat on the ground, sitting beside or within the composition itself
Laurie Anderson: The Weather
September 24, 2021 through July 31, 2022
Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Laurie Anderson: The Weather is the largest-ever U.S. exhibition of artwork by celebrated multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. Spanning her groundbreaking video and performance works from the 1970s to recent years, the exhibition guides visitors through an immersive audiovisual experience in the Museum’s second-floor galleries. This dynamic survey showcases the artist’s boundless creative process by highlighting time-based media, including To the Moon (2018), a 15-minute virtual reality work, as well as the largest exhibition of her paintings to date.
Lucy Kim: Skin Might See
January 24 – March 5, 2022
University Gallery, UMASS Lowell
Skin Might See includes the first gallery showing of Kim’s Knife Paintings, as well as work from her Auto-Synthetic series. Kim is a visual artist who uses mold making and illusionistic painting to create hybrid objects that navigate the borderlands between painting and sculpture. She describes mold making and casting as a “sculptural surrogate for photography.” In both bodies of work there is intrigue in the tension between skin and cast surface. Curator Julie Poitras Santos wrote that in Kim’s oeuvre “the surface skin competes for visual primacy with the three dimensional form…“ These startling integuments often seem at odds with the kitchen accoutrements and other structures that lie beneath, creating a frisson and a place of interrogation between media and meaning.
The December “Picks” of exhibitions and opportunities from CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts focus on the notion of lineage both as a subject matter and as a framework in which the featured artists are in dialogue. The following artists look back as they look forward, exploring the ways in which memory and history are intertwined with our present.
BY HER HAND: ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI AND WOMEN ARTISTS IN ITALY, 1500 – 1800
September 30, 2021 – January 9, 2022
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
By Her Hand presents a diverse group of female artists working in Italy during the 17th century from the celebrated Artemisia Gentileschi to her lesser-known contemporaries. While female artists played an important role in the male-dominated art world of their time, their success and contributions have historically been overlooked.
Frida Kahlo: POSE
June 25, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Rose Art Museum
Frida Kahlo: POSE includes contemporary art from the Rose permanent collection alongside pieces by Kahlo marking her significant influence and legacy. The exhibit is organized into five sections: posing, composing, exposing, queering, and self-fashioning. Each segment presents the revolutionary work of an artist who explored identity on an incredibly intimate and vulnerable level.
Picturing Motherhood Now
October 16, 2021 – March 13, 2022
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Picturing Motherhood Now represents a varied and intergenerational story of motherhood. Many of the exhibiting artists connect the experience of motherhood with other social issues including class, the history and impact of slavery, gender, migration, and indigenous cultures. While much of the work was created in the past two decades, the exhibit also highlights artists from the mid-twentieth century.
Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer
Through January 17, 2022
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer, now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston shares the previously unexplored photographic work of this iconic artist. About one-hundred photographs are included, alongside many of her paintings and drawings, and providing a rich survey of her artistic practice.
October 1, 2021 – March 28, 2022
Exhibition featuring the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s first Artist-in-Residence
Josephine Halvorson, a painter from Massachusetts, was the first Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Artist-in-Residence in 2019. Halvorson is currently exhibiting work she created in response to the landscape surrounding O’Keeffe’s homes as well as the personal collections that filled those homes at Ghost Ranch and in Abiquiú, New Mexico, and at the Museum in Santa Fe. This exhibition will be on view in Gallery 3 from October 1, 2021 to March 28, 2022.
Barbara Deming Memorial Fund
The application period is January 1 – 31, 2022 for Visual Art, Fiction, and Mixed Genre.
Money for Women is the oldest ongoing feminist granting program and disperses funds to feminist writers and visual artists on a yearly basis. In this grant cycle, the foundation is seeking applications from visual artists, fiction writers, and mixed genre creators.
posted by CAA — November 29, 2021
The November “Picks” from the Committee on Women in the Arts explore spaces between the human figure and its psychic figurations. Each artist featured in the exhibitions traces the vacillations between interior perceptions and the objective contours of an external world eroded by alienation and violence. Whether they draw from traditional genres or experiment with new media, these artists destabilize the grammar of recognizable forms to reveal the vulnerability of human subjectivity and test the possibilities for repair.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Condor and the Mole, 2011, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
October 16, 2021-February 13, 2022
Kunstammlung Nordheim Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye paints portraits to evoke the psychic depths of Black subjects while gently keeping them from the demand for full exposure. The fields of rich colors and soft, slightly loose brush strokes in which Yiadom-Boakye holds her sitters allow her paintings to pulsate with an elegance that is tangible but difficult to pinpoint, though it seems to emerge from the value the artist attributes to seeing as a private act. One painting featured in this exhibition, Condor and Mole (2011), seems to illustrate the mysterious camaraderie indicated by the title of the exhibition and links it to the veils of privacy Yiadom-Boakye brings to the painted image . Condor and Mole portrays two Black girls on a beach punctuated with dark rocks; the tide pulls their shadows into tan and blue-grey sheens that continue into the horizon line. The girls are turned to each other as they look down into a dark crevice in the sand. Viewers do not see what they are looking at, and Yiadom-Boakye portrays the playful attunement of their collaboration, expressed through the correspondence of their body language, without providing full access to their shared vision.
January 10, 2021-February 27, 2022
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo
México City, México
Ana Torfs is an artist based in Belgium and Dark Spaces Where Things Cannot Be Put is her first solo exhibition in the Americas. Working with an idiosyncratic array of materials and sources, Tors makes her subject the contingency of visual perception and the unstable connections among images, words, and knowledge. How do words determine what becomes visible to us? For Tors, this is an aesthetic, historical, ethical question that takes her work into contexts of great consequence. The installation The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria (2014) exemplifies her interest in language, translation, and power. In it, Tors draws from Christopher Columbus’ travel diaries to provoke reflections on linguistic alienation, curiosity, order, and repression. In dialogue with 81 black-and-white images of tropical nature, Tors presents a female interpreter translating an English version of Columbus’ diary into American Sign Language and then three male interpreters bring the text back to a spoken English fractured with error. The “original” diary and its exploratory record recedes further from vision and the connection to the photographs becomes even more unstable, but Tors suggests that the damage imperial encounters remain. The female translator in The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria points to the stealth feminism running through Tors’ artwork and her attention to the long histories of depriving women access to the voice of authority. The installation Echo’s Bones/Were Turned to Stone (2020), a carpet overlaid with a recording of a woman speaking in an endless chain of associations, suggests that this gendered displacement into irrationality forces women to carry the deaths embedded in and covered over by sensible, rational language.
November 25, 2021-July 3, 2022
Tate Britain, London
The winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, Lubaina Himid is well-known for her impact on the Black British art movement and her innovative depictions of everyday life in the Black diaspora. This Tate exhibition features Himid’s recent work as well as selected highlights from her influential oeuvre, focusing in particular on her interest and training in the theatre. With vivid colors that appear within slightly unsettling arrangements of geometric forms, Himid stages mise-en-scènes that reflect on diasporic imagining, building, and making. These qualities are evident in Six Tailors (2019), a painting in which Himid has arranged six men of African descent around a table covered in bright turquoise blue. The fabric, scissors, and spools thread with which they work materialize the colored and textured worlds they are in the process of making, which sharply contrasts the painting behind them that depicts the sky and sea as flat gray horizontal lines. Himid’s work as a painter is figured into this meditation on making and registers the losses that compose it.
September 12, 2021-June 6, 2022
Geffen Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The first West Coast survey of Pipilotti Rist’s work reveals how much her Pop-friendliness fits with Los Angeles. The playful eroticism, love of sparkle and shine, and hyper femininity that are the Swiss artist’s stylistic signatures all resonate with the city’s central place in the fantasy of making dreams come true. Of course, a dark cruelty lurks within this fantasy, and it therefore makes sense that despite the generosity alluded to in the exhibition’s title, Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor also reveals the artist’s affinity with figures such as Lynn Hershman Leeson and David Lynch. Surveying more than thirty years of her work, this exhibition highlights Rist’s talent for stretching video to its extremes with scale, color, and sound. For her, video is a threshold into a rich and elastic imaginary that lets interiors and exteriors flow into each other and announces the desire for big-hearted connections.
October 1, 2021-July 10, 2022
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Baseera Khan recently received the UOVO Prize for an emerging Brooklyn artist, and with an aesthetics of distortion pushed to theatrical extremes, they make their body a site for realizing spaces of disjuncture between Muslim and American identities. All of Khan’s artworks collage together a struggle with the archive of commodified objects, images, and materials through which Muslim Americans are perceived. Khan’s I Arrive in a Place with a High Level of Psychic Distress (Blue) (2021) encapsulates this struggle and crystallizes the meaning of the kaleidoscopic layers that are a predominant feature of their work. In this photograph, brown hands and legs adorned with silver chains, bracelets, and rings emerge from behind the broken fragments of painted floor tiles. It is a beautiful and violent fight to “arrive in a place,” but also a challenge to the conditions of raced and gendered visibility that materialize on the terrain of the image.
August 25, 2021-January 2, 2022
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece for London consists of two plain white tables upon which she has placed broken cups and saucers as well as instruments of repair: scissors, glue, twine, and tape. In her instructions she states, “Mend carefully/ think of mending the world/ at the same time.” A gentle reassertion of her central place in the Fluxus tradition and its continued pertinence, Ono also draws from the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, in which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer mixed with precious metals and silver. Mend Piece for London also exemplifies Ono’s irrepressible commitment to reaching people with her aesthetics of repair and inspiring them to create and hold an image of a peaceful world in their minds so as to thoughtfully cohere all its broken pieces.
October 30, 2021-April 17, 2022
Whitney Museum of Art, New York
The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing features 30 artworks Jennifer Packer has produced over the last decade. Emerging from a historical period in which visual media testifies to the state-sanctioned murder of Black people, Packer explores the psychic states and experiences that exceed visual evidence with a lyrical and melancholic vision. Layered with swaths of bright color, discordant fragments, blank spaces, and the weeping lines of vertical drips, Packer’s paintings and drawings are both heavy and light, private and revelatory, understandable and illegible. It seems that for Packer, traditional genres are tools for containing chaotic feelings, giving them form, but also evoking what has yet to be expressed. The still life Say Her Name (2017) is Packer’s response to the 2015 murder of Sandra Bland. The flowers, leaves, and stems of this painted funerary bouquet, loosely suspended before an unstable background of yellow and black, becomes a scrim that evokes the intimacy of identification and the reality of death’s irrevocable distance.
posted by CAA — October 26, 2021
The October Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts engage with the notion of space and its rich, multi-layered resonances with politics, gender, sexuality, ecology, diaspora and survival. Our selection features exhibitions featuring the work of feminist and womxn artists who respond to current urgencies and stress the importance of thresholds and their liberatory potential in showing these subjects, histories, narratives and discourses which have been invisible and silenced.
Bianca Bondi, The Daydream, 2021, exhibition view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris.
October 9–November 7, 2021
The Common Guild, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 film Comizi d’Amore (Love Meetings), Ricerche comprises of several video works presented as ‘ricerche’ or research that navigate intersections between gender, sexuality, politics and contemporary collective identifications in the United States. Hayes’ project with The Common Guild includes three films featuring a range of individuals in which the artist continues her journey of exploration into the entanglements among activism, queerness, love, sexuality and history and their entanglements.
October 10, 2021–January 2, 2022
Le Grand Café, Contemporary Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire, France
Noémie Goudal creates visual stories that via construction of handmade sceneries displaying structural imperfections and playing with perspectives and points of view reveal the process of making an image. Clues that she leaves unveil technical experiments and effects behind constructed scenes that at the first glance do not appear artificial. The exhibition includes works that explore layers of time and space. It features the artist’s new series Post Atlantica, a result of her research into paleoclimatology and her fascination with extreme mutations of landscapes subjected to the force of nature. With this work Goudal invites us to consider, via the image, past and future climate changes.
How did you feel when you come out of the wilderness
September 23–November 21, 2021
Kunsthall Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway
Frida Orupabo’s art practice reclaims spaces for narratives that are silenced or erased elsewhere. Her physical and digital collages, some of which are featured on her Instagram account @nemiepeba, emphasize the cracks and cuts that need to be sutured with care. Exploring mostly Black visual culture, Orupabo salvages fragments of counternarratives to create a body of knowledge that is rebellious, fugitive and willful. The exhibition presents the artist’s new body of work, including a wallpaper and a wooden sculpture that accompany collages, which engages with survival and the continuous struggle for freedom.
September 22, 2021–January 24, 2022
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
Bianca Bondi’s The Daydream transforms Fondation Louis Vuitton’s gallery space into an artificial interior garden offering a multisensorial experience. Inspired by sacred springs, this landscaped place of meditation invites the audience to immerse themselves in reflection and reverie. The artist references rituals and occult practices which connect us to the invisible world. The exhibition features sound designed by Jenn Hutt and flower arrangements designed by Tata Msellati. Olfactive ambience is created by the perfumeur Yann Vasnier. Fostering mutations and transformations between materials, senses and experiences, Bondi’s artistic practice is alchemical, seeking to discover and reveal the intangible.
Global Mode > Omnivores
October 5–November 10, 2021
Instituto Cervantes, New York, USA
Global Mode > Omnivores is a solo exhibition of new media artist Eva Davidova. It is part of the Occupied Spaces program inviting multi-faceted collaborations between artists and contexts within which the Instituto Cervantes centres are located. Davidova’s interest in unfixed positions and counterstrategies that disrupt prevailing hierarchies translates into the exhibited single channel video Garden for Drowning Descendants. The work engages with global ecological disaster and interspecies dependency to reflect on the current condition of the world.
Diane Severin Nguyen
IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS
September 16–December 13, 2021
SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY, USA
Diane Severin Nguyen’s new moving image work commissioned by SculptureCenter and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago traces the dichotomous relationship between the East and the West. Set in Warsaw, Poland, the film follows the character of an orphaned Vietnamese child fascinated with K-pop dance culture. The artist navigates the fractures between Eastern Europe and Asia with roots in Cold War allegiances to question inherited cultural divisions and layered conflicts and ways in which these are reckoned while trying to find shared identifications and symbols. The narrative is accompanied by the voice reading excerpts from texts on revolution by Ulrike Meinhof, Hanna Arendt, Mao Zendong among others. The juxtaposition of text and image, and the engagement with contradictory discourses via a photographic and moving image serve to interrogate subject formation and the tensions that emerge from cultural divisions.
September 16, 2021–April 17, 2022
ARTER, Istanbul, Turkey
This first retrospective exhibition of Candeğer Furtun’s works, curated by Selen Ansen, explores the notion of the ‘shell’ which often emerges, explicitly and implicitly, in Furtun’s ceramic practice. Featuring over a hundred works, the exhibition presents the artist’s innovative approach to ceramics embodying forms, textures and natural processes that liberate the soil. The notion of the shell manifests the threshold space between the human body and nature which are important in Furtun’s formal and conceptual explorations. It also enables the viewers to interrogate the dynamic transitions between interiority and exteriority, abstraction and figuration, or singularity and plurality.