Female abstractionism at the Center Pompidou

From 19 May to 23 August 2021, the Center Pompidou in Paris proposes the exhibition “They abstract” which investigates female abstract art from the origins of the movement to the 1980s. The exhibition highlights that women participated in theAbstractionism since its origins in 1860, the year in which Wassily Kandinsky drew the First abstract watercolor.

The contribution of women to the movement continued throughout the twentieth century and is highlighted in this review through the exhibition of more than five hundred works by more than one hundred artists. 

They abstract carries out a meticulous investigation that reviews well-known and lesser-known artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Rosemarie Castoro, Georgiana Houghton, Verena Loewensberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Saloua Raouda Choucair mentre tra le italiane Carla Accardi, Dadamaino, Giannina Censi and the former unknown Regina Cassolo Bracchi, recently rediscovered also in Italy.

Among the works on display, a 1947 oil on canvas by Verena Loewensberg, a 1964 installation by Carla Accardi, Triple Curtain, Composed of three polygonal curtains inserted one inside the other, whose pink color recalls the intimacy of the human body and a multiple of the early 1960s by Dadamaino of the cycle  Optical-dynamic objects, composed of aluminum plates, stretched on nylon threads according to geometric and mathematical relationships that generate illusory and changing optical effects. 

It is an exhibition extended not only to decorative arts, photography and cinema, but also to dance and a global exhibition that also looks at the different expressions that the movement assumed in the various countries of Latin America, the Middle East and the 'Asia.

Through this exhibition we try to rewrite the history of abstractionism by highlighting the female contribution and trying to recover the scarce recognition that was reserved for almost all the artists beyond the borders of their country.

The review does not claim to be exhaustive of the phenomenon but aims to begin an investigation into the artistic path and the personal and creative context of each of the artists, highlighting any group connections and synergies.

A further step towards the rewriting of the history of art that is no longer perceived as a rigid but constantly evolving discipline, capable of perceiving and interpreting the change in society also through the history of its minorities.

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