By Hannah Connolly
reathtaking collections, awe inspiring sculptures and the immersive experiences of installation – the art world can paint some of our most vibrant memories. Yet, the number of women artists represented in our gallery spaces often sits well below even the 10% mark when compared to their male contemporaries.
Exhibitions, therefore, play a vital role in the visibility and the development of women's artistic output, and of the artists themselves. That’s why, in 2023, The Stack World is curating a selection of the top ten exhibits and spaces celebrating, elevating and holding women with genius status.
From Sarah Lucas’s extraordinary analysis of the ordinary which seeks to challenge our perceptions to Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Fly in League With The Night (both showing at Tate Modern) which celebrates the artist's poetic command not just with paint but with words – it truly is a blockbuster year for the solo show.
As for collectives, curation reaches new heights across the year as independent and national museums alike bring together the work of women artists under one roof, in some cases for the first time ever in the UK.
As Stack World Founder Sharmadean Reid says in the first edition of our new newsletter The Superconnector:
“Visiting exhibitions is a great way for women to increase their exposure to artwork from different cultures and perspectives, as well as connecting with that great tool of humanity: creativity.“
Read on to discover our top ten exhibitions for the year, and join our Art Lovers Club community to be a part of 12 months worth of artistic meet-ups.
Lynette Yiadom - Boakye Fly In League With The Night
Where: Tate Britain When: Now until February 2023
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a renowned British artist and writer, widely acclaimed for her portraits of fictional figures created through both found images and from her imagination. Both recognisable and mysterious, her work invites us to make our own interpretations, and raises questions about our identities and of representation.
At Peace: Curated by Jade Foster
Where: Gillian Jason Gallery Now until 30th January 2023
Working to grow the presence and careers of women and non-binary artists since 1982, the Gillian Jason Gallery launched the first women-focused commercial gallery space in the UK on London's Great Titchfield Street.
For 2023, curator Jade Foster brings together five leading Black female artists: Alanis Forde, Miranda Forrester, Sahara Longe, Cece Philips and Emma Prempeh. At Peace seeks to act as a space in which each individual artist presents, talks about and references their work in their own way in their own terms.
Expect to see Alanis Forde’s expressionist approach which narrows in on Black female identity in an “idealsied ‘exoctic’ Caribbean space.” Miranda Forrester opts for figurative works which address the invisibility of womxn of colour thorough history. Sarah Longe’s work features vibrant colours and softened portraiture which looks to Old Masters and chooses to add Black bodies in place of the models who dominated this period in art history. Cece Phllip’s large scale oil paintings explore women's relationships with power and cultural inspirations from archival research. Whilst Emma Prempeh plays upon family heritage and memories, whilst also drawing upon the immediate and the future.
Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle
Where: Barbican When: 16th Febuary - 21st May
Hot Off The Press is the largest exhibition to date dedicated to American artist Alice Neel (1900-1984), whose portraits captured and portrayed the shifting socio political landscape of the American twentieth century.
Neel, who described herself as a “collector of souls” worked in New York during a period of time where figurative portraiture was deemed to be "unfashionable". Known as the "court painter of the underground", her work celebrates those who society disregarded. As a member of the US Communist Party, her political beliefs as well as her portraits even captured the attention of the FBI.
Organised in collaboration with Paris’* Centre Pompidou*, this exhibition features over 70 of Neel’s most captivating and vibrant portraits and is contextualsied by accompanying archival photography and film of her most prolific working years.
Where: Yorkshire Sculpture Park When: 1st of April - 3rd September
Lindsey Mendick returns to the Yorkshire Sculpture park this year with a solo exhibition at The Weston Gallery. In this curated display Mendick explores her own memories, television and cultural experiences of the 1980s to the early 2000 in an immersive installation.
Working predominantly with clay, Mendick subverts the medium's connotations from purely decorative or domestic and explores intricate and contemporary flair with the feminine experience. Humorous, grotesque and startlingly beautiful all in equal measure - expect the unexpected.
Paula Rego: Crivelli’s Garden
Where: The National Gallery When: 20th July - 29th October
Three decades ago, trail blazing artist Paula Rego was commissioned by The National Gallery to create a new mural for the Sainsbury Wing Dining Room of the globally renowned museum.
This resulted in the creation of Rego’s Crivelli Garden which was inspired by a 15th century altarpiece called La Madonna della Rodine which told the story of women from biblical history and folklore. What Rego created was a monument to the women of her life, including friends, family and members of staff at The National Gallery.
This exhibition showcases not only the mural itself, but the original life drawings that inspired the goddesses of the everyday depicted in the completed work.
Where: Royal Academy of Arts When: 23rd September - 10th December 2023
Rightfully recognised as one of the world's most important performance artists, this blockbuster exhibition is the first time the artist presents her life's work here in the UK. For half a century this trail blazing artist has tested not only the limits of her own physical and mental endurance, but challenged audiences to experience the very same alongside her.
Perhaps, her most seminal work is the 1974 performance of Rhythm O, where Abramović allowed audiences to freely interact with her – infamously ending with a loaded gun being held to her head – this is an exhibition not to be missed.
Curated in close collaboration with the artist herself, Abramović will even be participating in a series of talks and events across the three months residency.
Women In Revolt!
Where: Tate Modern When: 8th November 2023 - 7th April 2024
A first of its kind exhibition, this landmark curatorial feat is set to survey the work of over 100 women artists working in the UK from 1970 to 1990. Through their practices, women’s liberation was forged against a canvas of social, economic and political change.
Women in Revolt! Focuses on a diverse range of practitioners across paint, sculpture, drawing, film and performance art. Working against the backdrop of fights for legal changes, maternal and domestic experiences, punk and peace movements, Section 28, the visibility of Black and South Asian Artists and the AIDs pandemic.
Where: Tate Britain When: 28th September 2023 - 14th January 2024
Sarah Lucas is globally recognised for her bold and provocative use of both materials and images. Using the ordinary, in extraordinary ways, her work invites viewers to challenge their understanding of sex, class, and gender and has been doing so through her for more than 40 years.
This exhibition brings together her work in all of its multimedia glory from sculpture, installation and photography to being narrated to the sound of her own voice, the show is imbued with Lucas' unique humor and daring, and invites us to explore what it means to be human.
Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism
Where: Dulwich Picture Gallery When: Coming 2023
The coming spring (dates to be announced) will present the first major UK exhibition of pioneering impressionist artist Berthe Morisot since the 1950s. In partnership with Paris’ Musee Marmottan Monet, 30 of Morisot’s most significant works have been selected from across global institutions, some of which will arrive in the UK for the first time in 2023.
The exhibition seeks to paint the true picture of the artist's unprecedented impact not only on the art world, but equally on 18th century culture. As a founding member of the Impressionist Group her work explores the intricate world of the 1700s with exhibition revealling previously untold sources for her inspiration.
Action, Gesture, Paint - Women Artist and Global Abstraction
Where: White Chappel Gallery When: 9th February - 7th May 2023
Whitechapel Gallery is presenting a major exhibition of 150 paintings from amongst an overlooked generation of more than 80 international women artist.
“Reaching beyond the predominantly white, male painters whose names are synonymous with the Abstract Expressionist movement, this exhibition celebrates the practices of the numerous international women artists working with gestural abstraction in the aftermath of the Second World War," says the Gallery.
Only 5% of London galleries can boast gender parity in their collections, here The Stack World breaks down the top tickets to add to your cultural calendar
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