13 Exhibitions On Right Now, Celebrating Women In Art

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 65 months ago

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13 Exhibitions On Right Now, Celebrating Women In Art

It's Women's History Month. To mark it, we've brought you an array of exhibitions that explore the role of women in society, exhibitions about strong women, and exhibitions by acclaimed female artists.

The big exhibitions

Flaming June by Frederic Leighton. © Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.

A FIERY MUSE: Frederic Leighton's Flaming June forms the centrepiece of this exhibition and it is exquisite. Dressed in orange, June is curled up in an unnatural position, the lines of her body becoming lost in the contours of her clothing. It's the masterpiece that the rest of this exhibition is built around. Flaming June: The making of an Icon at Leighton House Museum. Until 2 April, £12

Copyright: Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

BEHIND THE MASK: Two powerful female artists — generations apart — combine in this exhibition that's all about identity. Claude Cahun shaves her head to pose as a male dandy, while Gillian Wearing dances in a Peckham shopping centre to music that's all in her head, while passers by pretend not to notice. The show is a subtle exploration of two artists exploring similar themes, while providing a fascinating insight into both their art practices. Gillian Wearing & Claude Cahun: Behind the mask, another mask at National Portrait Gallery. Until 29 May, £10

Impressive later works on landscapes. Copyright Linda Kitson.

WAR AND PUNK: The House of Illustration has a habit of introducing us to artists we’ve never heard of. Case in point: Linda Kitson and Jo Brocklehurst. They're two very different artists so we get to see the tender side of punk and the harsh realities of war. Linda Kitson: Drawings and Projects at House of Illustration. Until 30 April. Jo Brocklehurst: Nobodies and somebodies. Until 14 May, £7.50 for access to both exhibitions

Emma as the beautiful and powerful sorceress Circe, as painted by George Romney. Copyright Tate.

SEDUCTION AND CELEBRITY: Emma Hamilton is shown to be far more than just Nelson's mistress — this show tracks her rise from humble beginnings to mixing with aristocracy. It portrays Hamilton as a human with all her strengths and flaws — hers is, after all, a journey filled with tragedy. The portraits of Emma by George Romney are sublime. Find out more about Emma Hamilton in our piece about her. Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity at National Maritime Museum. Until 17 April, £12.60 adults

REMEMBERING AMY: The Jewish Museum originally staged an exhibition around Amy Winehouse in 2013. It's now returning after an international tour, providing another chance to see the person behind the personality seen in the press. Family photos and possessions give us the real Amy. There is also be a street art trail to accompany the show. Amy Winehouse: A family portrait at Jewish Museum. Until 24 September, £7.50

A nude with poppies by Vanessa Bell. Copyright the estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy Henrietta Garnett.

AN EXPERIMENTAL PAINTER: Vanessa Bell's sister, Virginia Woolf, may be the better known of the two, but Bell was an accomplished painter in her own right. She was constantly trying new styles, and the influence of the likes of Matisse and Picasso can be seen in her work. There are some great works in this show that highlight her versatility. Vanessa Bell at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Until 4 June, £14

The roles of women across the world

Women in advertising have become more empowered over time. This shot is from a 1984 Apple ad. Courtesy Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.

WOMEN IN ADVERTISING: A video explores how the role of women has changed in adverts over the years. From the early Fairy adverts, where a mother teaches a daughter about washing up, to role reversal of the Diet Coke ad which objectified a man — right through to the campaign about changing what 'running like a girl' looks like. There are a whole series of events around this video, and it also happens to be inside one of our favourite little museums. Women in Advertising at Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, 111-117 Lancaster Road, W11 1QT. Until 25 June, £9

DIVING IN KOREA: As well as their Emma Hamilton blockbuster, the National Maritime Museum has a free display on a society of female divers in South Korea. Portraits capture the hardships and determination of these women in an extremely labour intensive role, in which they dive for up to seven hours a day to collect seafood. Haenyeo: Women of the Sea at National Maritime Museum. Until 1 April, free

WOMEN IN WAR: The Yezidi community in Iraq has faced horrible attacks by ISIS. This exhibition focuses on the Yezidi women and their stories of escaping slavery and rescuing their sons and daughters. Bound to be a harrowing and important exhibition. #IamYezidi at Lacey Contemporary, 8 Clarendon Cross, W11 4AP. 21-26 March, free

Gallery exhibitions

Copyright Maria Lassnig, courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

COLOURFUL PAINTINGS: We've never been sure about Maria Lassnig's washed out self-portraits. But this show across two gallery spaces has converted us somewhat. From her portraits to her abstract works, the full range of her colourful works stands her out as more than just a creator of beautiful paintings. Maria Lassnig: A Painting Survey - 1950-2007 at Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET. Until 29 April, free

A brilliant expressive painting technique. Copyight Maggi Hambling.

AN EXPRESSIVE ICEBERG: We love the expressive paintings of Maggi Hambling. Her latest series of works covers the big issues today — ice caps melt and Aleppo is under siege in her typical explosive painting style where everything is recognisable, yet with an air of the intangible. Maggi Hambling: Edge at Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BY. Until 13 April, free

Another brilliant installation by Rebecca Louise Law. Courtesy Now Gallery.

A MAGICAL FLORAL DISPLAY: Rebecca Louise Law has suspended 10,000 irises from the ceiling of the gallery. It's great to sit down and immerse yourself in this magical environment. We love her work, we've covered her hanging gardens in the City of London and she's planning a new installation for the Mayfair restaurant Sake No Hana. The Iris: Rebecca Louise Law at Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula. Until 7 May, free

ABSTRACT COLOUR: A short lived one week show from Canadian artist Amalie Russell. Texture, pattern and movement combine in these abstract works whose bright colours make them pop from the surface. Measures in Motion: Amalie Russell organised by Roberta Moore contemporary at The Foundry Gallery, 39 Old Church Street, SW3 5BS. 16-23 March, free

Last Updated 16 March 2017