Mary Weatherford, *The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (Take the A Train), 2018. Flashe and neon on linen.
Photo: © Mary Weatherford Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of Gagosian

9 Shows by Women Artists That Dominate the Fall Exhibitions in New York

From Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim to Joan Mitchell at Cheim & Read, these are the showstoppers this season

As the fall season kicks into high gear, some of the most highly anticipated shows have opened at galleries and museums and many more will be opening in the coming weeks. A pleasant surprise is the large number of important retrospectives and unmissable solo shows of female artists, some emerging and some getting an overdue moment in the spotlight.

Hilma af Klint, Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 7, Adulthood (Grupp IV, De tio största, nr 7, Mannaåldern), 1907. Photo: Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm

As far as museum shows, one that is sure to astound is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum staging of 160 wildly creative paintings by the mystical Swedish abstract artist Hilma af Klint. Titled “Paintings for the Future,” the show, which opens October 12, features some of the first examples of nonrepresentational artwork, before Kandinsky, Kupka, or Mondrian created their abstract canvases (though hers depicted mystical ideas). Adding to her contemporary allure, the artist asked her family to keep her spiritual works hidden for 20 years following her death. Honoring her wish, the family boxed 1,200 paintings as well as journals with over 26,000 pages of notes in their family attic. The work stayed largely unknown until a few of the paintings were included in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1986.

Recommended: Take a Look Inside Lehmann Maupin’s New Peter Marino–Designed Gallery

Downtown, London artist Sarah Lucas will transform three floors of the New Museum with her provocative and sexually charged works. Unlike other YBAs, or Young British Artists—a group including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin who gained renown in the 1990s for their irreverent and innovative spirit—Lucas has never had a U.S. museum show before. Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Margot Norton, the exhibition “Au Naturel,” which opens September 26, features some 160 works made since 1989, including videos, sculptures, and photographs.

Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel, 1994. Photo: © Sarah Lucas. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Five decades of Argentina-born Liliana Porter’s artistic development is currently on view at the El Museo del Barrio in a show organized with the SCAD Museum of Art (through January 27, 2019). Among the highlight works included in this nonlinear exhibition are the artist’s 1970s photographs that reference the space and the body—stark black-and-white depictions of hands combined with architectural-style sketches, and her entertaining tableaux of miniature figurines that force us to question notions of perception. There will also be a specially commissioned theatrical piece debuting at the Kitchen.

Liliana Porter, El hombre con el hacha y otras situaciones breves – Venecia 2017 (Man with an Axe and Other Brief Situations – Venice 2017), 2017. Photo: Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds provided by Jorge M. Pérez. Image courtesy the artist.

Some of the most exciting gallery shows on view around town also showcase women artists—and predominantly painters. German-born, New York–based artist Charline von Heyl at Petzel Gallery, for example, presents 17 strikingly varied acid-colored paintings that hover between abstraction and figuration, calling to mind artists such as Albert Oehlen and Sonia Delaunay (through October 20). Von Heyl’s midcareer survey, “Snake Eyes,” is set to open at the Hirshhorn Museum, in Washington, D.C., on November 8.

Charline von Heyl, Pink Vendetta, 2009. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Petzel Gallery

Currently a finalist for the Guggenheim’s esteemed Hugo Boss Prize, New York-based Simone Leigh presents a series of striking ceramic works and cast female busts that reference visual traditions from the Caribbean, the American South, and the African continent at Luhring Augustine through October 20. Leigh will also have a 16-foot-tall bronze sculpture on view at Chelsea’s High Line next spring.

Born in Ojai, California, Mary Weatherford has in recent years become one of the rising stars of her generation. Her luminous canvases on view at Gagosian—her first show with the gallery—depict abstracted landscapes employing swirls of paint accented with sticks of neon light (through October 15).

Mary Weatherford, The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (Take the A Train), 2018. Flashe and neon on linen 117 x 234 in. Photo: © Mary Weatherford Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of Gagosian

The gallery Cheim & Read, which is slated to close its Chelsea space to operate privately from new premises, devotes its penultimate show to the Abstract Expressionist artist Joan Mitchell (though October 27). (The final show will be dedicated to the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois.) This loan exhibition features paintings from 1953 to ’62, a key period for Mitchell.

Simone Leigh, No Face (Pannier), 2018. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine

Hot off the heels of a Whitney Museum solo show last year, Nigerian artist Toyin Ojih Odutola debuts stunning new works at both of Jack Shainman’s Chelsea spaces (through October 27). Titled “When Legends Die,” the exhibition is part of a larger series that explores the UmeEze Amara Clan, a fictional Nigerian clan descended from nobility.

The Los Angeles–based artist Liza Lou’s new show kicks off the second Lehmann Maupin gallery, on West 24th Street, in the new Peter Marino–designed Getty building (through October 27). Her beaded canvases were created in collaboration with artisans from South Africa. Also on view is a video installation, a first for the artist, that depicts her singing as she draws in her studio.

Liza Lou, Nacreous, 2018. Photo: Courtesy of Lehmann Maureen


Cover: Mary Weatherford, *The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars (Take the A Train), 2018. Flashe and neon on linen.
Photo: © Mary Weatherford Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of Gagosian


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