From Mary Cassatt to Howardena Pindell, Here Are 8 Inspiring Shows Around the World to See This International Women’s Day

Don't miss these global exhibitions from women artists throughout history.

Installation view of "Home Strike" at L'étrangère, London. Courtesy l'étrangère.

Today is International Women’s Day, which feels particularly charged in 2018, given the recent Women’s Marches and the #metoo and #timesup campaigns, which have been shaking up the arts and culture industries.

Increasingly, art institutions around the world are paying attention to the diversity of representation within their collections and programs. Take Uffizi director Eike Schmidt, who committed last year to including more women artists in the prestigious Italian museum. And Sam Keller, director of the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland, told artnet News in a recent interview that he plans to break through his museum’s “glass ceiling.”

Despite these efforts, there is a still long way to go to increase visibility and close the gender pay gap in the art world (and beyond). But for now, let’s celebrate some of the impressive exhibitions featuring women artists currently on view around the world.

1. ‘Home Strike‘ at L’Étrangère, London

Paula Chambers, Domestic Front (2016). Courtesy l’étrangère.

This group exhibition, guest curated by Alexandra Kokoli and Basia Sliwinska, brings together works by four female artists, including CANAN, Paula Chambers, Malgorzata Markiewicz, and the pioneering 1970s feminist artist Su Richardson. The show is a contemporary revisit of the domestic biopolitics that defined feminism in the 1970s, investigating the impact this movement has had on intersectional discussions on class, gender, and global inequalities.

“Home Strike” is on view at L’Étrangère through April 21 at 44a Charlotte Road, London.

2. Ellen Cantor at Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin

Ellen Cantor (1990). Photo by Thomas Bruns, Berlin. Courtesy Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin and the estate of Ellen Cantor.

Ellen Cantor rose to prominence in the 1990s as a part of a new generation of feminist artists that were challenging female representation. The artist, who died in 2013, unabashedly combined imagery from pop culture, pornography, and politics, questioning previously held norms. A seminal body of personal works, including paintings, sculptures, and drawings, is on view at the Berlin gallery.

“Perversion is the Belief in True Love” by Ellen Cantor is on view until March 24 at Isabella Bortolozzi, at Schöneberger Ufer 61 10785 in Berlin.

3. “Women House” at National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

Laurie Simmons’s Woman Opening Refrigerator/Milk in the Middle (1978). Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

With works by 36 global artists, the exhibition “Women House” (which opens tomorrow, March 9) sets out to challenge conventional ideas about gender and domesticity. The show takes its cue from the landmark project Womanhouse, developed in 1972 by artists Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. It was the first female-centered art installation to appear in the Western world. Artists on view include Cindy Sherman, Zanele Muholi, Laurie Simmons, and Schapiro.

“Women House” is on view at the National Museum for Women in the Arts from March 9 through May 28 at 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC.

4. Howardena Pindell at MCA Chicago

A major survey by the groundbreaking American artist Howardena Pindell is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Throughout her decade-spanning career Pindell’s meticulous work has employed materials such as glitter, talcum powder, and perfume, often bringing unlikely perspectives into the realm of painting. The exhibition also includes Pindell’s exploration into photography, film, and performance, including her 1981 work Free, White, and 21, which depicts the artist cover her face by wrapping white paper around her head.

“What Remains to be Seen” by Howardena Pindell is on view through May 20 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, at 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago.

5. Haris Epaminonda, “VOL. XXIII” at Vienna Secession, Vienna

Haris Epaminonda, “VOL. XXIII,” exhibition view. Secession 2018, Courtesy Rodeo, London; Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York; Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia, Photo: Sophie Thun.

In “VOL. XXIII” at the Secession, the Cypriot artist continues in her characteristic visual storytelling method, drawing from a visual vocabulary of found and crafted objects and employing traditional artisanal techniques in the making of sculptures and wall pieces. Here, Epaminonda has whitewashed the space and filled it with mirrors, recalling scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey as much as it does a metaphysical painting by Giorgio De Chirico.

The show runs through April 1 at Vienna Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, 1010, Vienna.

6. Ala Younis, “Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad” at Delfina Foundation, London and Dubai

Ala Younis, “Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad” installation view, 2018. Photo Tim Bowditch. Courtesy Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel.

In this Ala Younis solo exhibition, the artist presents a new installation, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad (2018), meant to build on her 2015 work for the 56th Venice Biennale, Plan for Greater Baghdad, which is shown alongside it. In the new work, Younis highlights significant female contributions to the development of Baghdad beyond the male dominance of the city’s architecture and politics, digging up archival materials such as found objects, documents and oral histories that record women’s influence on its history. She emphasizes the work of Rifat Chadirji’s wife, Balkis Sharara, who helped him write his books while in prison in 1979, as well as the artists Nuha al-Radi and Fahrelnissa Zeid, poet Iman Mersal, and the late architect Zaha Hadid, among others.

The show runs through March 24 at Delfina Foundation in London, and through April 14 at Art Jameel’s Project Space in Dubai.

7. Mary Cassatt, “An American Impressionist in Paris” at the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris

Mary Cassatt, Bébé dans un costume bleu, regardant par dessus l‘épaule de sa mère (Baby in a blue suit, looking over her mother’s shoulder) (ca. 1883-1885) John J. Emery Fund, ©Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Mary Cassatt retrospective in Paris features 50 important works by the artist including paintings, drawings, and engravings loaned from major museums in the US (the Met, the National Gallery, MFA Boston, among others) and Europe (including Musée d’Orsay and Petit Palais). Cassatt was considered the greatest American artist in her lifetime, and is the only American painter to have shown alongside the Impressionists in Paris. The show centers on her as the only American female artist in the Impressionist movement after she was spotted by Degas in the 1874 Salon. Cassat experimented with portraiture, often painting her own family in domestic settings, and had a particularly modernist approach to traditional themes such as depictions of a mother and child.

March 9 through July 23 at the Musée Jacquemart-André,158 boulevard Haussmann 75008, Paris.

8. Sofia Hultén, “Here´s The Answer, What’s The Question?” at the Museum Tinguely, Basel

Sofia Hultén’s installation Mutual Annihilation (2008) (video still). Courtesy of Berlinische Galerie–Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, ©2018 Sofia Hultén, ProLitteris, Zürich/ Photo: Sofia Hultén.

Sofia Hultén’s installation “Mutual Annihilation” (2008), an object and four-channel video, sums up the artist’s absurd, self-negating labor. The work begins with a weather-beaten chest of drawers, which she lovingly restores, and then batters it back into its original dilapidated state. This work features among others in her show “Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question?” at Museum Tinguely.

Through May 1 at the Museum Tinguely, Paul Sacher-Anlage 2, 4002 Basel, Switzerland.


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