‘CLOSE-UP’ An Exhibition of Works by Prominent Women Artists Opens at Fondation Beyeler in September

Thursday, July 1, 2021
‘CLOSE-UP’ An Exhibition of Works by Prominent Women Artists Opens at Fondation Beyeler in September

The exhibition CLOSE-UP, which will open at the Fondation Beyeler this September, will present works by nine women artists occupying prominent positions within the history of modern art from 1870 to the present day.

From September 19, 2021 to January 2, 2022, Foundation Beyeler will open ‘CLOSE-UP’, featuring works by nine women artists occupying prominent positions within the history of modern art from 1870 to the present day. It was at the beginning of this period that women artists in Europe and America were in a position to make their first significant incursions into the professional world of art.

The exhibition centres on artists united in their emphasis on the depiction of the human figure – in the form of the portrait and the self-portrait: The French painter Berthe Morisot and the American Mary Cassatt, both active in the 1870s and 1880s in Paris, the then centre of contemporary art; the German Paula Modersohn-Becker, moving in the early 1900s between cosmopolitan Paris and the north German provincial town of Worpswede; the German Lotte Laserstein, active from 1925 to 1933 in Berlin during the later years of the Weimar Republic; Frida Kahlo, who worked from the early 1920s until around 1950 in Mexico City, during the consolidation and institutionalization of the Mexican state in the aftermath of the Revolution; the American Alice Neel, with a practice spanning the late 1920s to the 1980s, at first in Cuba and then in Manhattan, moving between Greenwich Village, Spanish Harlem, and the Upper West Side; Marlene Dumas, born in South Africa, who grew up in Cape Town when apartheid was at its height, before relocating in 1976 to work in Amsterdam; from the same period, the American Cindy Sherman, based in New York, the Western centre of contemporary art established by the new post-war generation; and finally, the American Elizabeth Peyton, travelling back and forth between New York and Western Europe since the 1990s.

The exhibition focusses on the artists’ gaze on its surroundings, finding expression in the portraits of themselves and others. In its synoptic perspective, it becomes possible to experience how the artists’ view of their subject shifts between 1870 and the present day, and what makes this significant.

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