More than 50 major paintings are on view by artists working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and '50s: 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. This is the first presentation of works by these artists together at one time.
Women of Abstract Expressionism 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.
An original video is on view in the exhibition (watch trailer in the slide show at top), and includes accounts about exciting moments in these artists' lives, as well as issues affecting women during this time period. An educational lounge offers a space for visitors to explore the climate of the 1950s through images, ephemera, and music (with a playlist available on Spotify), a glimpse into other aspects of the artists' lives, and a chance to reflect upon and share personal experiences.
An illustrated catalog is available in The Shops at the Denver Art Museum.
The exhibition is organized by the Denver Art Museum and curated by Gwen Chanzit, the museum's curator of modern art. After the DAM, the exhibition will travel to the Mint Museum, Charlotte, in October 2016 and the Palm Springs Art Museum in February 2017.
Women of Abstract Expressionism is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is generously funded by Merle Chambers; Henry Luce Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; the Ponzio Family; U.S. Bank; Christie’s; Harmes C. Fishback Foundation Trust; Barbara Bridges; DAM Contemporaries, a support group of the Denver Art Museum; Dedalus Foundation; Bette MacDonald; Joan Mitchell Foundation; Helen Frankenthaler Foundation; Deborah Remington Charitable Trust for the Visual Arts; the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign; and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.
The film, produced in association with Women of Abstract Expressionism, is generously supported by Barbara Bridges and DAM Contemporaries, a support group of the Denver Art Museum.