Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel
901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90013
March 13-September 4, 2016
Beginning March 13th, 2016, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel will present Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016, the inaugural exhibition at its new complex in the heart of the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Through nearly 100 works made by 34 artists over the past seventy years, this ambitious undertaking traces ways in which women have changed the course of art by deftly transforming the language of sculpture since the postwar period. Works on view reveal their makers inventing radically new forms and processes that privilege solo studio practice, tactility, and the idiosyncrasies of the artist’s own hand.
Revolution in the Making explores multiple strains of artistic approaches, characterized by abstraction and repetition, that reject the precedent of a monolithic masterwork on a pedestal, employing such tactics as stacking, hanging, and intertwining, to create an intimate reciprocity between artist and viewer. The exhibition examines how elements that are central to art today – including engagement with found, experimental, and recycled materials, as well as an embrace of contingency, imperfection, and unstructured play – were propelled by the work of women who, in seeking new means to express their own voices, dramatically expanded the definition of sculpture.
Feminism changed the course of 20th century art by altering the very notion of what art could be. Hewing to more sensuous materials and the intimate processes of the handmade, women sculptors began to articulate a female sensibility in their work, shifting the dialogue of art and laying the foundations for a revolution. The late 1940s and 1950s saw women asserting their own content into the formal geometries of post-war abstract sculpture. The collision of Post-Minimalism and feminism in the 1960s and 1970s witnessed women making their boldest breakthroughs and pioneering a ‘no going back’ course for subsequent generations of the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond.
To explore the story of these radical shifts and their legacy, Revolution in the Making unfolds as a thematic historical survey that is international in scope and fundamentally revisionist, making women artists central to the history of sculpture by tracing the legacy of studio-based organic abstraction. Their collective innovation – their pioneering of new forms, materials, and processes – has been far more influential than has been previously understood or recognized. While the individual contributions of such artists as Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse have been widely acknowledged, Revolution in the Making offers a narrative that includes many other artists who have contributed to the evolution of abstract sculpture through their working methods and materials. The exhibition moves chronologically,from the immediate post war area to the present. Comprising dozens of works by 34 sculptors of different generations and points of origin, evidencing remarkable variety in thought, approach, and purpose. But all of the sculptures included in Revolution in the Making – from the overt to the enigmatic, the purely formal to the concertedly psychological, the self-contained to the enveloping – are connected by materiality, expressiveness, and tactility, and through the autonomous labor of the artist in her studio.
See below for a list of artists in Revolution in the Making.
Anna Maria Maiolino
Ursula von Rydingsvard
The New Generation
For more information about Revolution in the Making, click here.
Images courtesy of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel