A new year means new exhibitions to visit! We didn’t see hardly enough shows in 2020, but that’s all about to change (well, hopefully). Restrictions permitting, we’re all about seeing art IRL this year and we’re sure you’re all itching to get back into museums and galleries. So, here are our picks of the female led exhibitions to see in 2021!
Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You at Art Institute of Chicago and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
Barbara Kruger is making a trip state side for a new retrospective show. The exhibition will span four decades, featuring videos, collages, installation and more. It’s reported that the Chicago edition will also include the presentation of work on buses and billboards. Dates are to be confirmed.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Fly In League With The Night at Tate Modern, London
This is Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s first major retrospective. The show spans almost two decades and includes 80 works. The figurative exhibition was hugely admired when it opened towards the end of 2020, and we’re hoping that everyone will get to see it in 2021. The show is set to run until 9 May.
Yayoi Kusama’s Retrospective at Gropius Bau, Germany and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Now here’s a treat for German and Israeli art girls, a major retrospective of Yayoi Kusama’s work is set to go on display in Berlin and Tel Aviv. The exhibition will consist of a full restaging of the Japanese artist’s most important exhibitions and will also include a brand-new mirror room, so get your iPhones ready! The show will run at Gropius Bau between 19 March and 1 August, and at Tel Aviv Museum of Art between 2 November and 23 April.
Georgia O’Keeffe Retrospective at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Spain, Centre Pompidou, France and Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland
It looks like Georgia O’Keeffe is going on a European tour! The huge show will include 80 paintings in order to provide a wide look at the artist’s career. The show runs in Madrid between 20 April and 8 August, Paris between 8 September and 6 December and then has its grand finale in Basel in early 2022.
Zarina Bhimji: Black Pocket at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE
This major survey of Zarina Bhimji’s work includes film, photography and installation, as well as a look at the artist’s exploration of architecture and landscape. The exhibition runs until 10 April.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction at Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, Tate Modern, UK and Museum of Modern Art, USA
You’re probably more familiar with Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s husband Hans, than Sophie herself, but that’s all about to change! Known for her work with abstraction, she was a major figure of the Cabaret Voltaire, mingling with the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Jean Cocteau. Her work is about to travel the globe, landing in Basel in March (until 20 June), London in July (until 17 October) and New York in November (until 12 March 2022).
Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy at Whitechapel Gallery, UK
This major retrospective of Eileen Agar’s work features over 100 paintings, collages, photographs and archive material, much of which has rarely been exhibited. Eileen Agar had a career spanning seven decades, synthesising Cubism and Surrealism. The show runs between 10 February and 23 May.
Alice Neel: People Come First at Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA
The Met’s new Alice Neel show will be her first museum retrospective in New York for twenty years. The exhibition positions her as a champion of social justice whose long standing commitment to humanist principles inspired her life as well as her art. The show will consist of over 100 works and will run between 22 March and 1 August.
Aida Mahmudova: PASTPRESENTFUTURE at Sapar Contemporary, USA
Azeri artist Aida Mahmudova is presenting a new body of work in a solo show at Sapar Contemporary, NYC this month. The works consider fragments of memory and the landscapes of Azerbaijan, running as part of Sapar Contemporary’s ‘Incubator’ programme, an ongoing effort in supporting leading female artists working across Central Asia and Caucasus. The show runs between 14 January and 16 February.
Remedios Varo: Museo Malba, Argentina
Remedios Varo was a central figure in Latin American surrealism and an essential reference in Mexico’s mid-20th-century art scene as a member of an extraordinary group of exiled artists and intellectuals. This show includes paintings, drawings and sketches. Born in Catalonia, Spain, Remedios Varo reached professional maturity in the middle of the 20th century, when living as an exile in Mexico City. The exhibition runs until 15 February.
*Dates listed for all exhibitions are subject to Covid-19 restrictions and may change*
Text Lizzy Vartanian