Women in Abstraction reevaluates the work of women abstract artists, changing the story of modern and contemporary art. A tie-in catalog to a major exhibition at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, this volume explores the fundamental role women artists played in the development of abstract art in the twentieth century. In this rich, sweeping collection, editors Christine Macel and Karolina Lewandowska bring together more than one hundred artists in painting, sculpture, dance, applied arts, photography, film, and performing arts.
Understanding that abstract art must be looked at in the light of the artists’ political and personal surroundings, this volume dives into the creation and reception of these artworks over time. From the symbolist abstraction of Hilma af Klint, now widely regarded as the first abstract artist, and the sensual abstraction of Huguette Caland, to the purist non-objective approach of Verena Loewensberg, each artist’s relationship to abstraction is examined. These artworks are presented with thought- provoking essays by esteemed critics, contextualizing and exploring the subjects and themes of the movement.
Ultimately, this volume questions the legitimacy of the notion of “female artists” and presents this group as simply artists, full of complexities and paradoxes.
This book documents the contributions of more than 100 female painters, sculptors, photographers and performers to the history of modernist abstraction and, by including artists from Asia and South America, demonstrates that abstraction itself has always been a global phenomenon.
— The New York Times
Karolina Lewandowska is photography curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Christine Macel is a French curator. She was the director of the 2017 Venice Biennale, and is chief curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.