16 Feminist Art Shows to See In Honor of Women’s History Month

See these shows in New York and around the country, featuring women artists and feminist icons.

Susan Bee, Pow! (2014). Courtesy of A.I.R.
Susan Bee, Pow! (2014). Courtesy of A.I.R.

Politics got you down? Grab back! March is Women’s History Month, and what better way to pay homage to all the pioneering women who have advanced the cause for women’s equality than to go see these 12 shows and exhibitions? Currently on view in New York and around the country, these shows feature the work of pioneering feminist artists, old and new:

Vadis Turner, Black Nest , 2016. Photo Courtesy Equity Gallery and © Vadis Turner

1. “FemiNest” at Equity Gallery
“FemiNest” brings together the works of Natalie Frank, Karen Lee Williams, Michele Oka Doner, Barbara Segal, Page Turner, and Vadis Turner around the idea of a “nest,” in both its literal and metaphorical meanings. The show explores new spaces for women, considering spirituality, materiality, societal behaviors in the domestic and non-domestic spheres, protection, and gender-specific production, via works in sculpture, textiles, painting, and many other media.

Location: Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: Through March 25. Wednesday to Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m., and by appointment.

Yayoi Kusama's Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.

Yayoi Kusama’s Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.

2. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 
Yayoi Kusama has been making headlines recently with her polka dots and pumpkins at the Hirshhorn Museum. Her “Happenings” in New York in the 1960s, where she explored the naked body as a stage for performance, were just the start of her rebellion against patriarchal systems of power. Included in this exhibition are six of Kusama’s infinity mirror rooms, featuring works such as Phalli’s FieldThe Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, and her most recent work, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins from 2016. Also featured are some never-before-seen paintings from her most recent series, “My Eternal Soul.”

Location: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Ave. at 7th Street SW, Washington, DC
Price: Free
Date and time: Through May 14. Open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Marilyn Minter Orange Crush (2009). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

Marilyn Minter Orange Crush (2009). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

3. “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty” at the Brooklyn Museum
The first retrospective of Marilyn Minter’s work, “Pretty/Dirty” at the Brooklyn Museum challenges notions of beauty and the feminine body. Included are Minter’s photographs and paintings from 1969 to 1989, works that explore visual pleasure from the 1980s and 1990s, and her most recent video works. And the best part? This is only one of 10 exhibitions of the Brooklyn Museum’s series “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum,” so expect more feminist work that expands the canon of art history.

Location: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York
Price: $20 adults, $12 seniors and students, $6 children 12-19, children under 11 free
Date and time: Through April 2. Wednesday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

The Guerrilla Girls are known for wearing gorilla masks. Photo: Courtesy Guerrilla Girls.

4. “Guerrilla (And Other) Girls: Art/Activism/Attitude” at the Zimmerli Art Museum
The Guerrilla Girls have been active since 1985, calling out the art world and its institutions for its unequal representation of women, artists or not. “Guerrilla (And Other Girls)” at the Zimmerli Art Museum highlights a selection of their posters, as well as the work of other women who were aligned with them. Included are the works of Ida Applebroog, Jackie Ferrara, Pat Adams, and Joan Snyder.

Location: Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Price: Free
Date and time: Through July 20. Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Martha Wilson, Thump (2016). Courtesy of the artist and PPOW Gallery.

Martha Wilson, Thump (2016). Courtesy of the artist and PPOW Gallery.

5. “The Intersectional Self” at the 8th Floor Gallery
If anything is clear from the political events of the last year, it is that the times are a changin’. “The Intersectional Self” examines exactly how feminism has changed the world, and how femininity, gender identities, and family structures have evolved with recent advancements in gender roles and reproductive medicine. Centering on feminist and gender politics, the show features the work of Andrea Bowers, Ana Mendieta, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Martha Wilson, and others.

Location: The 8th Floor, 17 West 17th Street, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: Through May 19. Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday by appointment.

Angela Alés, Manifestation , 2014. Photo courtesy Arts League of Lowell

6. ““Women Looking at Women” at the ALL Greenwald Gallery
Women are the focal point of this exhibition, btoh as subject matter and as artist. “Women Looking at Women” features the work of Angela AlésKatherine DuBose Fuerst, Laurie Simko, Mary Hart, and other Lowell artists. The show highlights the complexities of being a woman, with all the struggles and joys therein.

Location: ALL Greenwald Gallery, 307 Market Street, Lowell, Massachusetts
Price: Free
Date and time: Through March 12. Wednesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.

Grab Back installation view. Photo courtesy Project for Empty Space.

7. GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space at the Project for Empty Space
“GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space” is not so much an exhibition as it is an experience, a space for the empowerment and freedom of women. Featuring a series of short-term artist residencies, discussions, performances, and a rotating gallery program, “GRAB BACK” aims to create productive intersectional dialogue and response to the normalization of rape-culture, the dehumanization of women, and hyper-misogyny. The Newark gallery space currently houses a Feminist Reading Lounge and an interactive art project called the Pussy Polaroid Project, which invites women to share their image and voice collectively against the patriarchy, as well as “Zoe Buckman: Imprison Her Soft Hand” (through April 1).

Location: Project for Empty Space, 2 Gateway Center Gallery, Newark, New Jersey
Price: Free
Date and time: Through June 1. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Installation view of Grace Hartigan: The Late Paintings . Photo courtesy C. Grimaldi Gallery

8. “Grace Hartigan: The Late Paintings” at C. Grimaldi’s Gallery
Grace Hartigan was a female painter in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950’s, making painting in a mostly male-dominated art world. “The Late Paintings” exhibits some of her later works, from the 1980’s to the 2000’s, that blend her painterly gestural work, vibrant color schemes, and figurative themes. (She is also being shown in the major “Women of Abstract Expressionism” exhibition, now on view at the Palm Springs Art Museum in California.)

Location: C. Grimaldi Gallery, 523 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Price: Free
Date and time:Through April 1. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Helen Zughaib, Generations Lost . Photo courtesy the Islamic Art Revival Series.

9. “IARS Women’s Invitational Exhibition 2017” at the Eisemann Center of Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations
This Women’s Invitational features the work of 10 minority women artists, all first generation Americans. The works reflect these women’s strong bonds to their heritage and to their experiences living in the US, with unique techniques, narratives, and viewpoints. The artists, originally from Iran, Lebanon, Japan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, present a wide variety of themes. The Women’s Invitational this year includes the work of Nida Bangash, Sarah Ahmad, Sue Ewing, Saberah Malik, Nina Gharbanzadeh, Hend Al Mansour, Roya Mansourkhani, Naoko Morisawa, Helen Zughaib, and Sudi Sharaf.

Location: Forrest and Virginia Green Mezzanine Gallery, Eisemann Center of Performing and Visual Arts, 2351 Performance Dr., Richardson, Texas
Price: Free
Date and time: Through March 26. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Installation shot of May Stevens, Alice in the Garden . Photo courtesy RYAN LEE.

10. ““May Stevens: Alice in the Garden” at RYAN LEE Gallery
May Stevens has been a pioneering feminist artist for most of her 70-year art career, using her paintings to further the civil rights, feminist, and anti-war causes. “Alice in the Garden” exhibits a series of monumental paintings Stevens made of her mother Alice in the last years of her life. The fragility and vulnerability of her subject come strikingly through in these large-scale works, which are based on photos the painter took of Alice while visiting her in her nursing home.

Location: RYAN LEE Gallery, 515 West 26th Street, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: Through April 8. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Julia Jacquette, A Constant Stream , 2014. 2016 Julia Jacquette. Photo courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Shinji Otani.

11. “Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play” at the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College
“Unrequited and Acts of Play” is the first solo museum survey of Julia Jacquette’s work in more than 10 years, and will focus on two distinct bodies of her work. The first is her oil paintings, which explore how happiness is depicted through wealth and status in contemporary media. Her second body of work is a graphic memoir titled Playground of My Mind, which was inspired by urban playgrounds designed in Amsterdam and New York in the 1960s and ’70s. The show also features two site-specific murals designed just for this exhibition.

Location: Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: Through July 2. Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Bass Otis, Mrs. James Madison (Dolley Madison, 1768-1849) , ca. 1817. Photo courtesy the New York Historical Society.

12. “Saving Washington” at the New-York Historical Society
Let’s reconsider the Founding Fathers, and look instead at the Founding Mothers of America. “Saving Washington,” which inaugurates the New York Historical Society’s new Center for Women’s History, highlights the often overlooked contributions of women who helped implement the Constitution in its first years. The exhibition features more than 150 objects, including art, documents, and clothing, and immersive installations. At the center is First Lady Dolley Madison, who often held social gatherings at the White House called “Wednesday night squeezes,” encouraging informal diplomacy and dialogue.

Location: New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, New York
Price: $20 adult tickets, $15 for seniors, educators, and active military, $12 students, $6 children 5-13 years old, free for children under 4
Date and time: March 8–July 30. Tuesday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Susan Bee, <em>Pow!</em> (2014). Courtesy of A.I.R.

Susan Bee, Pow! (2014). Courtesy of A.I.R.

13. “Susan Bee: Pow! New Paintings” at A.I.R. Gallery 
New York’s gallery dedicated to presenting the work of women artists, founded in 1972, presents new paintings by Susan Bee that look to advance a feminist agenda and question commonly held cultural preconceptions of gender roles.

Location: A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn
Price: Free
Date and time: March 16–April 16. Wednesday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

Melanie Parke, Train Reaction , 2016. Photo courtesy Susan Eley Fine Art.

14. “Driven to Abstraction” at Susan Eley Fine Art
“Driven to Abstraction” focuses on five women abstract painters who provide us with visual relief in a social-media dominated culture. Featuring the work of Caroline Blum, Lori Ellison, Dana James, Melanie Parke, and Lizzie Scott, the exhibition explores a wide range of abstractions, from geometric abstraction to more painterly pieces.

Location: Susan Eley Fine Art, 46 West 90th Street, 2nd floor, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: March 1–April 13. Tuesday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Karen Lederer, Hands Off, 2017. Photo courtesy Field Projects Gallery.

15. “Karen Lederer: HANDS ON” at Field Projects Gallery
Bright colors and patterns characterize the work of Karen Lederer, who takes on the art world patriarchy and the Trump administration’s war on women in her solo show, “HANDS ON,” at Field Projects. Lederer layers different mediums and textures, piecing together moments from her studio and her life that are reminiscent of 1980s aesthetics.

Location: Field Projects Gallery, 526 West 26th Street, #807, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: March 16–April 29. Thursday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Michela Martello, Victim, 2015. Photo courtesy Pen + Brush

16. “Michela Martello: Future is Goddess” at Pen + Brush
“Future is Goddess,” playing off the phrase “The Future is Female,” expands the role of feminine power by invoking goddesses and symbolic imagery from the past, and mixing it with contemporary influences. The eight-year survey of works at Pen + Brush, an organization founded on the idea of gender equality in the arts, showcases Michela Martello’s range of mediums and cross-cultural projects.

Location: Pen + Brush, 29 East 22nd Street, New York
Price: Free
Date and time: Through April 22. Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.


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