Unrecognized: Early Abstract Art by Women

The history of women who played major roles in the development of abstract art is finally, slowly given its due. The Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), a long-overlooked innovator of abstract art whose historic 2018-2019 exhibition at the Guggenheim caused a sensation, is our point of departure for a re-examined historical perspective that highlights the role of female abstract artists since the genre’s origins. We will learn about a number of women artists who took a lead in championing abstraction, including Georgiana Houghton, Emma Kunz, Sonia Delaunay, Georgia O’Keeffe, Natalia Goncharovna, and Anni Albers, and whose legacies, their contributions notwithstanding, have largely been overshadowed by those of their male peers––until now. Informed by Women in Abstraction , a recent exhibition at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, we will observe how at long last these exceptional artists are given their rightful place in the canon of art history. Furthermore, we will observe how their example spawned subsequent generations of women artists, among them Carmen Herrera, Bridget Riley, Agnes Martin, Alma Thomas, Lygia Clark, Gego, Julie Mehretu, and Torkwase Dyson. Mary Gabriel’s book, Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art , will complement our study.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with important women artists of the abstract art movement
  • An understanding of abstract artists’ influence on the art world

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing art professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.