Don’t Miss These 10 Shows by Groundbreaking Female Sculptors

One literally shattered the earth.

Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth at The Tate Modern gallery in 2007. Courtesy of Getty Images.
Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth at The Tate Modern gallery in 2007. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Hauser, Wirth, and Schimmel christened their Los Angeles gallery space this summer with a group exhibition that focused on a long-overlooked tradition of female sculptors between 1947 and today. With over 30 artists on the roll call, “Revolution in the Making” delivered a slew of works by both new and household names, including Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, and Isa Genzken.

To take a cue from the show’s curatorial spirit, artnet News is paying homage to ten artists who have pushed the medium to new, and at times unexpected limits. From Ruth Asawa, who came to renown for her intricately-woven wire sculptures, to Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, who literally shattered the earth with her 2007 sculpture, Shibboleth, see our roundup, and their exhibitions, below.

Installation view of Louise Bourgeois exhibition. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Installation view of Louise Bourgeois exhibition. Courtesy of Getty Images.

1. Louise Bourgeois at Hauser & Wirth
Louis Bourgeois landed some prime real estate at Hauser, Wirth, and Schimmel’s show this year—and she’ll be having a full-scale exhibition of her own this October at the gallery’s Somerset, UK location. There’s a selection of the artist’s sculptures on view, but the main event comes in 38 delicate etchings that Bourgeois created using copper plates, in the years leading up to her death in 2010.

Louise Bourgeois: Turning Inwards” opens at Hauser & Wirth‘s Somerset gallery on October 1 and runs through January 1, 2017.

Ruth Asawa. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

Ruth Asawa. Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth.

2. Ruth Asawa at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
With shows up and down San Francisco’s premiere art institutions, the late Ruth Asawa gets some well-deserved attention in her city, over three decades after she founded the San Francisco School of the Arts. Those looking to get a closer look at the artist’s hanging wire sculptures can drop by the newly-opened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), where she, along with Alice Neel, Frida Kahlo, and Henri Matisse, has work on view in a group exhibition titled “Open Ended.”

Open Ended” is an on going exhibition on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Simone Leigh, A particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora, The Studio Museum, New York, 2016. Courtesy the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NYC Parks, and Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Simone Leigh, a particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora (2016). Courtesy the artist via Luhring Augustine.

3. Simone Leigh at the Studio Museum in Harlem
Between a series of weekly guided meditations and her latest event, “Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter” at New York’s New Museum, Simone Leigh made a number of waves this summer. Now, she’s taken her latest sculptural offering due north to Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, where you can see her installation, titled, a particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora, courtesy of the Studio Museum.

Simone Leigh: a particularly elaborate imba yokubikira...” will be on view at Marcus Garvey Park through July 25, 2017.

Cosima von Bonin, SCALLOPS (DARK VERSION), ROCKING, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Petzel, New York

Cosima von Bonin, SCALLOPS (DARK VERSION), ROCKING, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Petzel, New York

4. Cosima von Bonin at SculptureCenter
This month, SculptureCenter will claim the honor of holding German artist Cosima von Bonin’s first institutional solo show in New York. “Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?,” takes a close look at von Bonin’s interest in oceanic and beach themes, with a presentation of sculptural works of lobsters, bikinis, and lifeguard stands.

Cosima von Bonin: Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?” is a solo exhibition of works at the SculptureCenter in Queens, New York that opens on September 19 and runs through January 2, 2017.

Fiber glass and colored mirror sculptures by renowned French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle are part of a new unique installation sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the District Department of Transportation through its Transportation Enhancement Program on April 16, 2010 in Washington, DC. The New York Avenue Sculpture Project is the first and only major outdoor sculpture corridor in the Nation?s capital, featuring changing installations of world-class art by women. AFP PHOTO / Tim Sloan (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

View of Niki de Saint Phalle’s installation. Courtesy of Getty Images.

5. Niki de Saint Phalle at Waterfront Park
From Miss Black Power (1968) standing in Japan’s Hakone Open-Air Museum, to her famous “rotund, ebullient, hungry” Nanas, the late French artist Niki de Saint Phalle‘s sculptures take up residence around the world. The majority of de Saint Phalle’s current exhibitions are to be held across Europe, but fans in California may consider taking a trip to San Diego’s Waterfront Park, where three life-sized characters are scheduled to enchant until 2027.

Niki de Saint Phalle at Waterfront Park” is a public installation of three sculptures that runs through May 10, 2027.

LONDON - OCTOBER 08: An art work entitled 'Shibboleth' is displayed at The Tate Modern gallery on October 8, 2007 in London. Columbian artist Doris Salcedo has opened up a snaking crack in the concrete of the Turbine Hall. Fracturing the floor, the crack runs the 167 metre length of the hall. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth at the Tate Modern gallery. Courtesy of Getty Images

6. Doris Salcedo at the Harvard Art Museums
In what promises to be a monumental exhibition of Doris Salcedo’s recent works, the Harvard Art Museums will be leveling an exhibition for the artist titled “The Materiality of Mourning.” Long-committed to unveiling the political strife and violence of her home country Colombia, Salcedo often makes big statements—so much so that in 2007, the artist literally shattered the earth in her piece Shibboleth at London’s Tate Modern.

Her work at Harvard is no different, as it involves a “room-size tapestry comprised of thousands of preserved hand-sewn red rose petals,” titled A Flor de Piel (2013), which honors a female nurse who was brutally murdered. “Suturing the petals is very important because it was a way to bring together all these parts,” says Salcedo.

Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning” will be on view at the Harvard Art Museums from November 4, 2016 through April 9, 2017.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: A visitor takes a photograph of a piece of work from Turner Prize winning British artist Rachel Whiteread's new show, 'Detached' on April 11, 2013 in London, England. The exhibition runs at the Gagosian Gallery on Britannia Street until May 25. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Installation view of Rachel Whiteread’s “detached” in 2013. Courtesy of Getty Images.

7. Rachel Whiteread at Gagosian
Fans of Turner-prize-winning cast-master Rachel Whiteread will want to take a look at Gagosian’s current group exhibition in San Francisco. “Plane Site,” which has been extended to run through September 17, takes a look at the dynamic relationship between drawing and sculpture.

Plane Site” is a group exhibition of works on view at the Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco that runs through September 17, 2016.

Artowrk "Bourj II" from the series "Bunker" by Lebanese artist Mona Hatoum (C) is displayed in front of artworks "Invisible Sun (algorithm)" (L) and "Chimera" (R) by Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu on October 22, 2013 at the Conciergerie museum in Paris, during an exhibition presenting French businessman Fran?ois Pinault's contemporary art collection. AFP PHOTO/JACQUES DEMARTHON RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

Bourj II from the series “Bunker” by Lebanese artist Mona Hatoum. Courtesy of Getty Images.

8. Mona Hatoum at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Select works from Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz’s private collection are currently on view at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale—not the least of which is a compelling sculpture by Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum. The show, which comes on the heels of the artist’s first major full-scale survey at the Tate Modern this summer, includes works by Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, and Teresita Fernandez, among others.

Belief + Doubt: Selections from the Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz Collection” is a group exhibition of works at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale that runs through January 22, 2017.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Artwork by E.V. Day is displayed during the 23rd Annual Whitney Museum American Art Award Gala at Highline Stages on May 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 07: Artwork by E.V. Day is displayed during the 23rd Annual Whitney Museum American Art Award Gala at Highline Stages on May 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

9. E.V. Day at Children’s Museum of the Arts
E.V. Day, the artist behind gravity-defying installations such as Flameco Tornado (2011), Butterfly (2011), and Flesh for Fantasy (1999), will be turning her attention to outer space in an upcoming group exhibition at the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Day, along with Nina Katchadourian, Tom Sachs, and others, have been curated in “Mission to Space,” wherein the museum describes the artists’ works as “examin[ing] the galaxy and our relationship to it.”

Mission to Space” is a group exhibition of works at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York that opens on September 13 and runs through January 15, 2017.

Installation view of Senga Nengudi's work at MOCA. Courtesy of YouTube.

Installation view of Senga Nengudi’s work at MOCA. Courtesy of YouTube.

10. Senga Nengudi at Henry Art Gallery
Formally trained in the art of dance, Senga Nengudi’s interactive, and at times performative, approach to sculpture is currently the subject of a survey at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. “Improvisational Gestures” looks back at her artistic output since 1970—an ambitious time frame considering the breadth of her work. From sculpture to more recent ventures in video, the show is a must-see.

Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures” is on view at Henry Art Gallery in Seattle through October 9, 2016.


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