The show promises a “new take on the history of abstraction,” from its origins to the 1980s, and brings together the contributions of more than 100 female artists including Anni Albers, Vanessa Bell, Louise Bourgeois, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Barbara Hepworth, Yayoi Kusama, Georgia O’Keefe and Arpita Singh.
“Empowering women is a mission truly close to our heart at Mytheresa. This exhibition shows the importance and impact of women’s artwork and gives them the recognition they deserve within the abstract movement, on a global scale,” said Michael Kliger, Mytheresa’s chief executive officer.
Floriane de Saint Pierre, chair of the board of the amis du Centre Pompidou, and Serge Lasvignes, president of the Centre Pompidou, are among the driving forces behind the show.
Chief curator Christine Macel said the show aims to demonstrate “how female artists have been major actors and co-creators of modernity and its aftermath,” and how much they have contributed to all of the disciplines of abstraction, “and thus break the cloak of invisibility that still covers many of their key contributions.”
The show will take the form of a chronological survey combining fine arts, dance, photography, film and the decorative arts, with the artists presented “as fully fledged actors and co-creators of modernism and its aftermath.”
It aims to give women artists “a new place” in the history of abstraction and reveal why many female artists did not necessarily seek recognition. The show will also have a global viewpoint, looking at abstract art movements in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
African-American artists from the early 1970s onward will also be under the spotlight at the Centre Pompidou exhibition.
Organizers said the show will also pose some questions, including ‘What exactly is abstraction?’ and ‘Can we continue to isolate women artists in a separate history when we would like this history to be polyvocal and non-gendered?’”
Following its run at the Pompidou the exhibition will be presented at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, from Oct. 22 to Feb. 27, 2022. Based on the collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, another version will open in April 2022 at the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum in Shanghai.