Discover more from The Great Women Artists
GWA Newsletter May #2
The art that can heal heartbreak; new podcast episodes; everything you need to see, read, watch and do!
Dear Great Women Art Lovers,
I hope you are all well. Coming at you from another sunny day in NYC mid-way through our US Tour for The Story of Art Without Men. Since we spoke, we’ve been to the likes of Boston, DC, NYC, Philadelphia and Providence. Very excitingly, we got to #8 in the New York Times Bestseller List!
For those in NYC, this Saturday 20 May, 3–5pm, I will be signing books at David Zwirner Books on West 20th to coincide with their Kusama exhibition! Come down, get a book, get it signed, see the show, and check out my reading list of Zwirner’s published books (from Virginia Woolf’s Oh To Be A Painter! to Diane Arbus: Documents). RSVP here.
This Sunday 21 May we continue the tour at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut, and next week on Tuesday 23 May at The Booksmith in San Francisco, before closing on Wednesday 24 May at Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown LA gallery.
For those in the UK, on Sunday 4 June I’ll be speaking at Hay Festival. Come join!
"When I was growing up, my age group were used to their mothers being nurses, teachers, librarians, and a glamorous job would be a stewardess... Now your generation, the young boys and the girls, they see women that are CEOs of corporations and lawyers and doctors. That's gonna change everything: women wielding power is gonna change the fear of women wielding power.
And the fear I think is all about – and I don't mean to be talking just philosophy, not art – but that fear comes from the idea of women taking over, but what we're asking for is to share. And that's so painful for so many people... in a way that is what my work is about."
And this week’s episode, with the renowned Brazilian artist, Adriana Varejão:
“…I think that it's how you build culture. It's like with the parts of everything and miscegenation through miscegenation of cultures and ruins of many cultures. And in a country like Brazil, that's very rich in terms of culture. I think it's because of that we are confluence of many, many things mixed together. It’s a huge nation, and we speak the same language. But we have many origins – the Europeans with the Africans... we have been this melting pot since the beginning….”
For the Guardian, I wrote my column on the art we look to in times of need – to salve our wounded feelings and help point the way to the future. I explore Tracey Emin’s Neons, Paula Rego’s dancers, Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s Mother and Child, Gluck’s Sapphic portrait of two lovers, and Louise Bourgeois’s spiders:
Whatever you might be feeling, make a bookshelf of the writers who speak to you most, compile your favourite poems, go to your local gallery to experience art in the flesh or curate your own mini exhibition that will help you get through. Look to art for the answers because across the years, decades, or centuries, in work by someone who lived a completely different existence to you, you’ll find something you instantly recognise. And when you do, you can pass it on to someone else who might need it too.
And yesterday morning we featured on NBC’s Today Show! Check it out:
OK, enough from me — let’s have a look at your TOP 5!
Love, Katy. Xoxo
5 Shows in the UK
Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris at Pallant House (from 13 May)
Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern (until 21 May)
Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South at the Royal Academy of Arts (until 18 June)
Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism at Dulwich Picture Gallery (until 10 September)
Sabine Moritz at Pilar Corrias (until 3 June)
5 Shows Overseas
Yayoi Kusama: I Spend Each Day Embracing Flowers at David Zwirner, NYC (until 21 July)
Louise Giovanelli: Soothsay at Grimm, NYC (until 30 June)
Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (until 21 May)
Tacita Dean at Bourse de Commerce, Paris (until 18 September)
Cindy Sherman: Tapestries at Aarhaus Museum, Aahaus (until 5 June)
5 Things to Read
A special issue of Critical Quarterly dedicated to John Berger, featuring texts by Lamorna Ash, Marina Warner, Rye Dag Holmboe, and more, edited by Leo Robson
Joanna Biggs’s new book, A Life of One’s Own
The Stuntman, a short story by Rachel Cusk for The New Yorker
Elizabeth Hardwick’s classic 1979 novel, Sleepless Nights
Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story by John Yorke, the ultimate guide to unlocking how stories are shaped
5 Artists You Should Know About
This week I checked out this young painter at her current 56 Henry exhibition. On view were almost electrically-lit surfaces that coalesce images of forests and bodies applied with a palette knife and thick brushstrokes.
I am obsessed with Betty Woodman’s ceramics. Last week, I visited her former studio and was witness to her part-functional, part-artistic vessels imbued with bright colouring. She is just as much of a master in clay as she is colour.
Known for her tender, stoic and commanding portrait busts, Prophet was the first African-American graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1918, and made most of her work in Paris during the 1920s and 30s.
Born in Zimbabwe, Zvavahera steeps her practice in the country’s figurative painting traditions. Ethereal, mystical and full of luminous colour, her works feel like the sort of images we meet in dreams – with hybridised figures and in a paradisal world.
Born to an aristocratic English family, Delany went on to produce nearly 1,000 detailed floral paper collages. But here’s the thing: she only started making her them at the age of 72, after being utterly enraptured by the affinities shared between a loose geranium petal and a red piece of paper.
That’s it from me! Happy GWA’ing. Thank you for reading this Substack. If you think someone else might enjoy this too, please spread the word and share this article. If you have any feedback, please comment below.
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