Ten Out of London Exhibitions By Women Artists – Sara Faith

Women Artists, Louise Bourgeois, Compton Verney

Women artists are taking centre stage in the UK’s exhibition scene this summer. Exciting shows include Turner Prize nominees Heather Philippson and Claudette Johnson, international artists Beatriz Milhazes and Sylvia Snowden, and 20th-century trailblazers Louise Bourgeois, Leonora Carrington, and photographer Franki Raffles. Scotland can see the fantastic “Women in Revolt” show, previously exhibited at Tate Britain.

Louise Bourgeois, Compton Verney
Louise Bourgeois, Spider, Compton Verney

Louise Bourgeois: Nature Study 

Compton Verney, Warwickshire

6 July – 6 October 2024

The exhibition brings together a remarkable body of work from ARTIST ROOMS, the national collection jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, alongside important loans from The Easton Foundation, New York, which have rarely been seen by UK audiences.

The exhibition spans Bourgeois’s entire seven-decade career and features over forty works in every medium she worked in, displayed across the galleries, collections, and landscape.

The exhibition explores Bourgeois’s interest in the cycles of life and nature. Other recurring themes include memory, metamorphosis, motherhood, human relationships, and emotional release. The exhibition extends into the Capability Brown landscape, where one of her iconic bronze spiders is sited in front of the Georgian manor house.

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Claude Cahun: Beneath This MaskAbbot Hall
Claude Cahun: Beneath This Mask
Abbot Hall

Claude Cahun: Beneath This Mask
Abbot Hall, Kendal, Lake District

23 March – 3 August 2024

An exhibition of striking photographs exploring the complexities of gender and identity.

The exhibition contains 42 contemporary giclee prints made from scans of Cahun’s original photographic self-portraits. Born Lucy Schwob, she adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun in 1917 to free herself from the narrow confines of gender. Her work investigates themes of identity through multiple characters. Blurring and distorting her age, identity, gender and surroundings, the photographs can be read as anti-portraiture: while portraiture sets out to capture and commemorate an individual, Cahun’s photographs disrupt the idea of a single ‘self’.

Largely unknown during her lifetime, Claude Cahun’s work has since received fame and has influenced the performative work of contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman and Trish Morrissey.

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Franki Raffles Photography,Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Franki Raffles Photography, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Franki Raffles Photography

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

10 May 2024 – 16 March 2025

This is the first major retrospective exhibition of feminist, activist, and social documentary photographer Franki Raffles (1955–1994). Raffles documented the lives of women in the UK, predominantly in Scotland, and during travels with her family in the 1980s across the Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia, and Ukraine), China, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Israel, and Palestine.

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Beatriz Milhazes
Beatriz Milhazes,Tate St Ives

Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias

Tate St Ives, Cornwall

25 May to 29 September 2024

Tate St Ives presents a retrospective of the work of artist Beatriz Milhazes, known for intensely colourful, large-scale abstract canvases. The exhibition Beatriz Milhazes: Maresias traces the evolution of her artistic approach over the past four decades.

Beatriz Milhazes (born in 1960 in Rio de Janeiro) rose to prominence in the 1980s as a leading figure of the Geração Oitenta (1980s Generation). This pivotal Brazilian art movement saw a return to painting as a dynamic medium for artistic expression, moving away from the conceptual art of the previous decade.

Milhazes is influenced by multiple sources, including Brazilian and European modernism, Catholic iconography, Baroque colonial architecture, and Brazil’s vernacular culture and heritage.

Adapting the concept of collage to painting, Milhazes creates exuberant, densely layered works. In 1989, she developed her distinctive ‘monotransfer’ technique, in which she painted her own motifs onto plastic sheeting before transposing them onto canvas.

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Bharti KherYorkshire Sculpture Park
Bharti Kher,
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Bharti Kher

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield,

22 June 2024 to 27 April 2025

The title of this new exhibition refers to Alchemy, an ancient practice that included trying to change ordinary metal into gold. Bharti Kher’s work has these ideas of magical transformation at its heart.

Mythology plays an essential role and is a major source of inspiration. Stories of imagined creatures and spirits who live between worlds, bodies, and time align perfectly with Kher’s thinking. She blurs boundaries between animals, humans, nature, and objects. The results are often hybrid beings that combine the everyday with the imaginary and the extraordinary.

Sylvia Snowden,,Hepworth Wakefield
Sylvia Snowden, Beverly Johnson, 1978. © Sylvia Snowden. Courtesy Edel Assanti and Franklin Parrasch Gallery. Photo by Andy Keate

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Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity 
The Hepworth Wakefield 
16 March – 3 November 2024

Sylvia Snowden: Painting Humanity is the first public gallery exhibition of African-American painter Sylvia Snowden’s work in Europe. It presents a selection of work from a career spanning six decades, including large early paintings and more recent works.

Snowden works with oil paint, pastels, acrylic, and collage to create her expressionist, distorted, monumental figures. She captures the psychological essence of her subjects – their triumphs, torments, joys, and pains- in thick impasto, the technique where paint is laid thickly on an area of the surface.

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Leonora Carrington,Newlands House Gallery
Kati Horna, Portrait of Leonora Carrington in her studio, 1956 / Leonora Carrington, Woman with Fox, 2010 © Leonora Carrington Council and rossogranada

Leonora Carrington: Rebel Visionary

Newlands House Gallery, Petworth, West Sussex
12 July to 26 October 2024

This summer, Newlands House Gallery in Petworth, Sussex, brings together a wide range of Carrington’s work to show the span of her output across a wide range of media. Loans will include a wall of masks, a series of masks made for a theatrical production of The Tempest in the 1950s, original lithographs, tapestries, sketches, sculptures, jewellery – and, of course, paintings.  Together, they will show the full range of Carrington’s prolific and original output across a career that spanned eight decades.

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Claudette Johnson, Barber Institute
Claudette Johnson, Blues Dance, 2023. The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust), purchased with support from the Garcia Family Foundation, 2024. © Claudette Johnson. Image © The Courtauld. Photo: David Bebber.

Claudette Johnson: Darker Than Blue

The Barber Institute, Birmingham 

22 June – 15 September 2024

Claudette Johnson – recently shortlisted for the 2024 Turner Prize – is one of the most exciting and prominent artists working in the UK today. New and recent work features here in her first solo exhibition in the West Midlands.

Johnson is best known for her powerful depictions of the Black figure, which reassert its presence in Western art histories. Her primary subjects are Black women, including herself, and, more recently, Black men. Through these figures, Johnson employs a powerful style to explore the body; her work challenges perceptions of identity, sexuality, and wider political and social constraints, particularly those affecting Black diasporic communities.

This exhibition includes large-scale, vibrantly coloured works in oil and pastel stick, gouache and other media, often on oversized paper sheets, alongside smaller sketches that reveal the intimacy of her work. It also features an immersive soundscape by Trevor Mathison – the first collaboration between the two artists.

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Gina Birch 3 Minute Scream 1977 © Gina Birch
Gina Birch 3 Minute Scream 1977 © Gina Birch

Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970–1990
National Galleries of Scotland (Modern Two), Edinburgh

25 May 2024 – 26 January 2025

Touring from Tate Britain, this major survey of feminist art celebrates the women who challenged and changed the face of British culture. Discover the powerful and often provocative work of over 100 artists and collectives forged against the backdrop of seismic social, economic and political change over two decades.

Women in Revolt! explores key themes and issues, such as the Women’s Liberation Movement, maternal and domestic experiences, Punk and independent music, Greenham Common and the peace movement, the visibility of Black and South Asian women artists, Section 28 and the AIDS epidemic. Showcasing painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, film and photography alongside archival materials – with many artworks on display as part of this tour for the first time since the 1970s – this timely and urgent show is not to be missed.

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Heather Phillipson,
Heather Phillipson, Out of this World, 2024.
Artist’s working collage, courtesy the artist.

Out of this World, Heather Phillipson
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

12 July 2024 – 26 January 2025

In Out of this World, Turner-Prize nominated artist Heather Phillipson plots a sequence of sonic and atmospheric conditions that conjure airspace, aerospace and outer space. Responding to the ghostly communications of radar, sonar and unidentified aerial phenomena, Phillipson fills Glynn Vivian’s galleries with tuned, automated noises and dematerialised images that float and pulsate, creating what she calls ‘a visual and acoustic fog’. This fog is, like some aspects of warfare, hallucinatory – generating apparitions, premonitions and phantasmagoria. Through the use of sound as a force that influences us both physically and emotionally, Out of this World maps a vibratory field that acts almost meteorologically.

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Lead photo by Sara Faith ©Artlyst 2024


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