13 Feminist Art Shows to See in Honor of Women's History Month
See these shows in New York and around the country, featuring women artists and feminist icons.
By Sarbani Ghosh, March 6, 2017
Politics got you down? Grab back! March is Women’s History Month, and what better way to pay homage to all the pioneering women who have advanced the cause for women’s equality than to go see these 12 shows and exhibitions? Currently on view in New York and around the country, these shows feature the work of pioneering feminist artists, old and new:
1. “FemiNest” at Equity Gallery
“FemiNest” brings together the works of Natalie Frank, Karen Lee Williams, Michele Oka Doner, Barbara Segal, Page Turner, and Vadis Turner around the idea of a “nest,” in both its literal and metaphorical meanings. The show explores new spaces for women, considering spirituality, materiality, societal behaviors in the domestic and non-domestic spheres, protection, and gender-specific production, via works in sculpture, textiles, painting, and many other media.
Location: Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, New York
Date and time: Through March 25. Wednesday to Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m., and by appointment.
2. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” at the Hirshhorn
Yayoi Kusama has been making headlines recently with her polka dots and pumpkins at the Hirshhorn Museum. Her “Happenings” in New York in the 1960s, where she explored the naked body as a stage for performance, were just the start of her rebellion against patriarchal systems of power. Included in this exhibition are six of Kusama’s infinity mirror rooms, featuring works such as Phalli’s Field, The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, and her most recent work, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins from 2016. Also featured are some never-before-seen paintings from her most recent series, “My Eternal Soul.”
Location: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Ave. at 7th Street SW, Washington, DC
Date and time: Through May 14. Open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
3. “Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty” at the Brooklyn Museum
The first retrospective of Marilyn Minter’s work, “Pretty/Dirty” at the Brooklyn Museum challenges notions of beauty and the feminine body. Included are Minter’s photographs and paintings from 1969 to 1989, works that explore visual pleasure from the 1980s and 1990s, and her most recent video works. And the best part? This is only one of 10 exhibitions of the Brooklyn Museum’s series “A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum,” so expect more feminist work that expands the canon of art history.
Location: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York
Price: $20 adults, $12 seniors and students, $6 children 12-19, children under 11 free
Date and time: Through April 2. Wednesday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
4. “Guerrilla (And Other) Girls: Art/Activism/Attitude” at Zimmerli Art Museum
The Guerrilla Girls have been active since 1985, calling out the art world and its institutions for its unequal representation of women, artists or not. “Guerrilla (And Other Girls)” at the Zimmerli Art Museum highlights a selection of their posters, as well as the work of other women who were aligned with them. Included are the works of Ida Applebroog, Jackie Ferrara, Pat Adams, and Joan Snyder.
Location: Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Date and time: Through July 20. Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
5. “The Intersectional Self” at the 8th Floor Gallery
If anything is clear from the political events of the last year, it is that the times are a changin’. “The Intersectional Self” examines exactly how feminism has changed the world, and how femininity, gender identities, and family structures have evolved with recent advancements in gender roles and reproductive medicine. Centering on feminist and gender politics, the show features the work of Andrea Bowers, Ana Mendieta, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Martha Wilson, and others.
Location: The 8th Floor, 17 West 17th Street, New York
Date and time: Through May 19. Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday by appointment.
6. “Women Looking at Women” at ALL Greenwald Gallery
Women are the focal point of this exhibition, both as subject matter and as artist. “Women Looking at Women” features the work of Angela Alés, Katherine DuBose Fuerst, Laurie Simko, Mary Hart, and other Lowell artists. The show highlights the complexities of being a woman, with all the struggles and joys therein.
Location: ALL Greenwald Gallery, 307 Market Street, Lowell, Massachusetts
Date and time: Through March 12. Wednesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.
7. GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space at Project for Empty Space
“GRAB BACK: PES Feminist Incubator Space” is not so much an exhibition as it is an experience, a space for the empowerment and freedom of women. Featuring a series of short-term artist residencies, discussions, performances, and a rotating gallery program, “GRAB BACK” aims to create productive intersectional dialogue and response to the normalization of rape-culture, the dehumanization of women, and hyper-misogyny. The Newark gallery space currently houses a Feminist Reading Lounge and an interactive art project called the Pussy Polaroid Project, which invites women to share their image and voice collectively against the patriarchy, as well as “Zoe Buckman: Imprison Her Soft Hand” (through April 1).
Location: Project for Empty Space, 2 Gateway Center Gallery, Newark, New Jersey
Date and time: Through June 1. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
8. “Grace Hartigan: The Late Paintings” at C. Grimaldi’s Gallery
Grace Hartigan was a female painter in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s, making painting in a mostly male-dominated art world. “The Late Paintings” exhibits some of her later works, from the 1980s to the 2000s, that blend her painterly gestural work, vibrant color schemes, and figurative themes. (She is also being shown in the major “Women of Abstract Expressionism” exhibition, now on view at the Palm Springs Art Museum in California.)
Location: C. Grimaldi Gallery, 523 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Date and time:Through April 1. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
9. “IARS Women’s Invitational Exhibition 2017” at the Eiseman Center of Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations
This Women’s Invitational features the work of 10 minority women artists, all first generation Americans. The works reflect these women’s strong bonds to their heritage and to their experiences living in the US, with unique techniques, narratives, and viewpoints. The artists, originally from Iran, Lebanon, Japan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, present a wide variety of themes. The Women’s Invitational this year includes the work of Nida Bangash, Sarah Ahmad, Sue Ewing, Saberah Malik, Nina Gharbanzadeh, Hend Al Mansour, Roya Mansourkhani, Naoko Morisawa, Helen Zughaib, and Sudi Sharaf.
Location: Forrest and Virginia Green Mezzanine Gallery, Eisemann Center of Performing and Visual Arts, 2351 Performance Dr., Richardson, Texas
Date and time: Through March 26. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
10. “May Stevens: Alice in the Garden” at RYAN LEE Gallery
May Stevens has been a pioneering feminist artist for most of her 70-year art career, using her paintings to further the civil rights, feminist, and anti-war causes. “Alice in the Garden” exhibits a series of monumental paintings Stevens made of her mother Alice in the last years of her life. The fragility and vulnerability of her subject come strikingly through in these large-scale works, which are based on photos the painter took of Alice while visiting her in her nursing home.
Location: RYAN LEE Gallery, 515 West 26th Street, New York
Date and time: Through April 8. Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
11. “Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play” at the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College
“Unrequited and Acts of Play” is the first solo museum survey of Julia Jacquette’s work in more than 10 years, and will focus on two distinct bodies of her work. The first is her oil paintings, which explore how happiness is depicted through wealth and status in contemporary media. Her second body of work is a graphic memoir titled Playground of My Mind, which was inspired by urban playgrounds designed in Amsterdam and New York in the 1960s and ’70s. The show also features two site-specific murals designed just for this exhibition.
Location: Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, New York
Date and time: Through July 2. Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
12. “Saving Washington” at the New York Historical Society
Let’s reconsider the Founding Fathers, and look instead at the Founding Mothers of America. “Saving Washington,” which inaugurates the New York Historical Society’s new Center for Women’s History, highlights the often overlooked contributions of women who helped implement the Constitution in its first years. The exhibition features more than 150 objects, including art, documents, and clothing, and immersive installations. At the center is First Lady Dolley Madison, who often held social gatherings at the White House called “Wednesday night squeezes,” encouraging informal diplomacy and dialogue.
Location: New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, New York
Price: $20 adult tickets, $15 for seniors, educators, and active military, $12 students, $6 children 5-13 years old, free for children under 4
Date and time: March 8–July 30. Tuesday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
13. “Susan Bee: Pow! New Paintings” at A.I.R.
New York’s gallery dedicated to presenting the work of women artists, founded in 1972, presents new paintings by Susan Bee that look to advance a feminist agenda and question commonly held cultural preconceptions of gender roles.
Location: A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn
Date and time: March 16–April 16. Wednesday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.