I love a good art exhibit. Along with free walking tours, going to an art museum is always on my list of things to do while traveling, and my favorite way to spend a weekend afternoon in Cleveland. And it looks like in the not-so-distant-future I may be traveling for art exhibits! This year, during the run-up to the next presidential election, the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC) has partnered with various art museums and nonprofit institutions from across the United States to present programming that shines the spotlight on feminist thought and art.
They state, “Motivated by the ethical imperative to affect change and promote equality within our institutions and beyond, these collective projects will advocate for inclusive and equitable access to social, cultural, and economic resources for people of all genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, classes, ages, and abilities. This cooperative effort stages a range of projects that together generate a cultural space for engagement, reflection, and action while recognizing the constellation of differences and multiplicity among feminisms.”
There are so many incredible exhibits happening as part of this ambitious programming, so I went through and highlighted ten that I am the most excited about. Here are 10 feminist art exhibits to see in the USA in 2020:
image via brooklyn museum
1. Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection
Museum // Brooklyn Museum
Location // Brooklyn, New York
Dates // January 24 – September 13, 2020
This year the Brooklyn Museum is hosting Out of Place, an exhibit that allows you to take a look at works that have routinely been seen as ‘out of place’ in major museums. By showing mainly unseen works from forty-four artists, the exhibition seeks to examine “how artists can transform long-held cultural assumptions.” Context is integral to understanding art, so this exhibit is “organized around three themes: the role of museums and galleries; work made outside of the mainstream art world; and a focus on the domestic sphere that connects to feminist critiques of art hierarchies.”
image via NMWA
2. Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico
Museum // National Museum of Women In The Arts
Location // Washington D.C.
Dates // February 28 – May 25, 2020
Opening in February, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico is the artist’s most extensive U.S. exhibition in over two decades. One of the most influential contemporary photographers of Latin America, this exhibit is comprised of 140 photographs organized around nine themes – all offering “compelling insight into the daily lives and customs of indigenous men and women.”
image via BMA
3. By Their Creative Force: American Women Modernists
Museum // Baltimore Museum of Art
Location // Baltimore, Maryland
Dates // October 6, 2019 — July 5, 2020
As part of it’s year-long 2020 Vision initiative, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is focusing its upcoming programmings on the works of female-identifying artists. That means a rotating schedule of 13 solo exhibitions and seven thematic shows that highlight women’s contributions to art history. By Their Creative Force celebrates the works of female artists in American modernism, including painting, sculpture, and decorative arts pieces. Other notable feminist exhibitions at the BMA include Ellen Lesperance: Velvet Fist and Adorned: African Women & the Art of Identity.
image via artnews
4. Judy Chicago: A Retrospective
Museum // de Young Museum
Location // San Francisco, California
Dates // May 9 – September 5, 2020
With more than 150 paintings, drawings, ceramic sculptures, prints, and performance art pieces on display, this exhibition showcases Judy Chicago’s long career as a feminist artist. This much-anticipated exhibit at the de Young Museum will be the first complete overview of Chicago’s extensive career and “pays homage to an artist whose lifelong fight against the suppression and erasure of women’s creativity has finally come full circle.”
image via henry art gallery
5. Diana Al-Hadid (title TBD)
Museum // Henry Art Gallery
Location // University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Dates // July 25, 2020–February 7, 2021
Born in Aleppo, Syria, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Diana Al-Hadid creates artworks inspired by her Arab, Muslim background as well as her interest in the blending of cultures. This exhibition will consist of a selection of 10-15 large-scale sculptural works made between 2010 and 2020 that touch on ideas of “spirituality, sci-fi, and science coalesce around a drive toward transformation, subjecthood, agency, and active presence, particularly with respect to the female figure.”
image via madison square park conservancy
6. Maya Lin: Ghost Forest
Museum // Madison Square Park Conservancy
Location // New York City, New York
Dates // June 8–December 13, 2020
For her upcoming Madison Square Park Conservancy public art commission, Maya Lin sourced dead trees from the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, a vulnerable site that has suffered severe deprivation. Her installation aims to bring into focus the ravages of climate change on woodlands around the world and serves as a call to action to the 60,000 visitors who pass through Madison Square Park daily. The installation will coincide with a series of public programs, lectures, and events that explore the challenges of climate change and propose potential nature-based solutions.
image via arts club of chicago
Museum // Arts Club of Chicago
Location // Chicago, Illinois
Dates // September 17, 2020 – January 2021
We are all familiar with the topic of self-care; however, this exhibit, “proposes that daily acts of care should be understood as quietly, yet decisively, disruptive of the status quo” and not a marketing strategy deployed to capture the disposable income of females. Through curating works that approach care as a “complicated nexus of generosity and coercion,” Upkeep seeks to consider how “slight gestures, open questions, repetitive acts, distant memories, and subtle refusals register alternate value systems.” It will be coordinated with a simultaneous exhibition on alternative topics in feminism at the Renaissance Society.
image via pitzer college art galleries
8. Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness
Museum // Pitzer College Art Galleries
Location // Claremont, California
Dates // September 12 – December 11, 2020
In the fall, my alma mater (!!!) is hosting Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, an ongoing self-portrait series by South Africa visual activist Zanele Muholi. In the more than 70 photographs, Muholi “uses the body as a canvas to confront the politics of race and representation.” Each self-portrait is black and white and “asks critical questions about social injustice, human rights, and contested representations of the Black body.”
image from “Knives and Skin“ courtesy of IFC Films
9. Jennifer Reeder: Girls on Film (1995–2020)
Museum // DePaul Art Museum
Location // Chicago, Illinois
Dates // October – November 2020
For twenty-five years, Jennifer Reeder has been making films about relationships, trauma, and coping, with a focus on the experiences of girls and women. Her brilliant film-making and clear activism have won her several Oscar nominations, as well as awards and showings at the top film festivals. Later this year, the DePaul Art Museum will host a mini-retrospective of a selection of Reeder’s films, along with discussions and workshops on women in film.
image via NOMA
10. Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds
Museum // New Orleans Museum of Art
Location // New Orleans, Louisiana
Dates // October 2, 2020 – January 31, 2021
A pioneering multimedia artist, Dawn DeDeaux has been creating video, performance, photography, and installation works since the 1970s. “Anticipating a future imperiled by the runaway population growth, breakneck industrial development, and the looming threat of climate change, DeDeaux has long worked between worlds of the present and the future.”
Are there any art exhibits that you are excited to see this year?
Let me know in the comments below!