Art is still very much a man’s world. Museums and galleries make it clear that the art world has historically been male orientated. Only 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women. But London is leading the way by showing more women artists. Here’s my pick of 7 must-see female solo shows open right now.
Tomaso Binga at Mimosa House
27 September – 20 December 2019
‘Tomaso Binga’ is the artistic pseudonym of Bianca Pucciarelli Menna, which was adopted by the artist in the early 1970s. Working with poetry, writing, performance, collage and painting, Binga dissects and challenges the gendered nature of language – exposing patriarchy encrypted within its very structure. The paradoxical act of appropriating a masculine name allowed the artist to question and parody male prerogatives in society.
Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels at National Portrait Gallery
3 October 2019 – 5 January 2020
Elizabeth Joy Peyton (b.1965) is one of the preeminent artists working today. She paints still lifes and landscapes, but above all, portraits: of friends, lovers, heroes, admirations, inspirations and fascinations. Her subjects include artists, activists, actors, athletes, dancers, musicians, queens, princes, politicians and poets. Captured from life, memory, literature and imagination, through found images and photographs, amongst many things her art explores love, individuality, beauty and the passing of time.
Shana Moulton at Zabludowicz Collection
12 September – 15 December 2019
Using video, sculptural installation and performance, American artist Shana Moulton has developed a distinctive psychic and aesthetic realm anchored around her alter ego, Cynthia. Collectively titled Whispering Pines – the name taken from the mobile-home park for senior citizens near Yosemite that her parents ran – these episodic videos, begun in 2002, chart Cynthia’s personal tribulations. They also reflect on the relationship between consumerism and the search for spirituality.
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary at Whitechapel Gallery
25 September 2019 – 12 January 2020
With simple materials like clay, paper and ink Anna Maria Maiolino (b.1942, Italy) constructs a fascinating world rooted in human conditions such as longing, fragility and resistance. This is the artist’s first retrospective in the UK, spanning six decades of work.
Bridget Riley at Hayward Gallery
23 October 2019 – 26 January 2020
Hayward Gallery presents a major retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of celebrated British artist Bridget Riley. Developed in close collaboration with the artist herself – and in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland – it is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date. Tracing both the origins and the evolving nature of Riley’s innovative practice, the exhibition brings together the artist’s iconic black-and-white paintings of the 1960s, expansive canvases in colour, early figurative works and recent wall paintings.
Laura Knight RA: A Working Life at the Royal Academy of Arts
2 September 2019 – 2 February 2020
This free display celebrates the work of Laura Knight RA, one of the most famous and popular British artists in the first half of the 20th century. Drawn from the RA’s Collection of paintings, drawings and sketchbooks, the show explores three distinct themes from her long working life – the countryside, the nude and scenes from the theatre, ballet and circus.
Mary Sibande: I Came Apart at the Seams at Somerset House
3 October 2019 – 5 January 2020
In her first solo exhibition in the UK, Mary Sibande presents a series of photographic and sculptural works exploring the power of imagination and constructive anger in shaping identities and personal narratives in a post-colonial world.