Press Release

Landmark Exhibition Highlights Women's Contributions to Abstract Expressionism

Event Date: 
12 June 2016
Denver, CO

Women of Abstract Expressionism expands understanding of seminal art movement with survey of more than 50 major works

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is proud to present the first full-scale museum presentation celebrating the female artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Organized by the DAM and curated by Gwen Chanzit, Women of Abstract Expressionism brings together 51 paintings to examine the distinct contributions of 12 artists who played an integral role in what has been recognized as the first fully-American modern art movement.

On view June 12, 2016 through Sept. 25, 2016, the exhibition presents a nuanced profile of women working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and ’50s, providing scholars and audiences with a new perspective on this important chapter in art history. Following its debut at the DAM, Women of Abstract Expressionism will travel to the Mint Museum in October 2016 and to the Palm Springs Art Museum in February 2017.

The DAM’s exhibition focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism, while revealing inward reverie and painterly expression in these works by individuals responding to particular places, memories and life experiences. Women of Abstract Expressionism also sheds light on the unique experiences of artists based in the Bay Area on the West Coast where they were on a more equal footing with their male counterparts than those working in New York. The featured artists include Mary Abbott, Jay DeFeo, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gechtoff, Judith Godwin, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Deborah Remington and Ethel Schwabacher.

“For millennia women have been creators and innovators of artistic expression,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Few women have found their way into the accounts of art history, and not until the 20th century have they received some of the credit that is long overdue. We are delighted to be the first U.S. museum to tell these stories of the most prolific female Abstract Expressionists.”

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