Female Abstraction: Reimagining Abstract Expressionism at Whitechapel Gallery

Celebrating International Women Artists and Their Contributions to Gestural Abstraction

09 Feb – 07 May 2023

Wook-kyung Choi, Untitled (detail), 1960s Acrylic on canvas, 101 x 86 cm © Wook-kyung Choi Estate and courtesy to Arte Collectum

Has opening the door to a new perspective on Abstract Expressionism, Whitechapel Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Female Abstraction: Action, Gesture, Paint,” showcases the works of 81 international women artists who have contributed immensely to the development of this influential movement. The exhibition invites viewers to explore the rich diversity of gestural abstraction from different corners of the world, highlighting the role of women artists in shaping the visual language of the movement.

Stepping away from the well-trodden path that predominantly focuses on white male painters, “Female Abstraction” brings to the forefront the talents of a diverse group of women artists who have been exploring the themes of materiality, freedom of expression, perception, and gesture in the aftermath of the Second World War. This exhibition challenges the notion that Abstract Expressionism was solely an American phenomenon and instead, illustrates its global impact and relevance.

The cultural contexts behind the artworks add layers of complexity and meaning to the exhibition, as it delves into the influence of fascism, communism, and other political ideologies on the artists’ works. By examining these themes, “Female Abstraction” provides a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the global reach and the lasting influence of Abstract Expressionism on the art world.

Notable artists such as Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler, who have already made their mark in the annals of Abstract Expressionism, are displayed alongside lesser-known but equally talented figures like Bertina Lopes and Wook-kyung Choi. The exhibition is a treasure trove of artworks, with more than half of the pieces never before seen on public display in the UK.

“Female Abstraction: Action, Gesture, Paint” is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in the evolution of Abstract Expressionism and the vital role of women artists in shaping its trajectory. By celebrating the diversity and talent of these 81 international women artists, Whitechapel Gallery not only reimagines the narrative of Abstract Expressionism but also champions the importance of female voices in the art world.

Plan your visit to Whitechapel Gallery to immerse yourself in the powerful, expressive world of “Female Abstraction” and discover the often-overlooked contributions of international women artists to the realm of gestural abstraction.

Website: Female Abstraction: Reimagining Abstract Expressionism at Whitechapel Gallery

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