Review

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages

18.04.2020 |

Exhibition view: Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 14 December 2019 – 10 May 2020, Courtesy Musée Soulages

The ambition of the exhibition Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, organised by the Musée Soulages in Rodez, France is to reintegrate, in the most objective way possible, female artists into the history of abstract art.

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages - AWARE Artistes femmes / women artists

Exhibition view: Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 14 December 2019 – 10 May 2020, Courtesy Musée Soulages

Curated by the museum director Benoît Decron, this exhibition, which includes 42 artists and 83 artworks sourced from large international and regional museums, foundations, galleries and private collections, presents a broad panorama of post-war artistic creation, a time when geometrical and lyrical abstraction were opposed.

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages - AWARE Artistes femmes / women artists

Exhibition view: Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 14 December 2019 – 10 May 2020, Courtesy Musée Soulages

Although there were numerous female artists who exhibited in galleries and Parisian salons during the 1950s, only a handful achieved the same recognition as their male counterparts, becoming fundamental figures in the history of art, such as Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), Joan Mitchell (1925-1992), Aurélie Nemours (1910-2005) and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992).

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages - AWARE Artistes femmes / women artists

Geneviève Claisse, Slalom, 1960, 162 x 130 cm, Courtesy Galerie Denise René and Musée Soulages

The first part of the exhibition, dedicated to geometric abstraction, opens with a painting by S. Delaunay (Rythme coloré, 1958-1960) and continues with a beautiful selection of works by Vera Molnár (1924-2023), A. Nemours and Geneviève Claisse (1935-2018). These works are juxtaposed with two wooden sculptures (Le Teck, 1956; Obéro, 1959), emblematic of the work of  sculptor Marta Pan (1923-2008). Other lesser known artists, such as Jeanne Kosnick-Kloss (1892-1966) and Francine Holley (born 1919), also make their appearance.

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages - AWARE Artistes femmes / women artists

Exhibition view: Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 14 December 2019 – 10 May 2020, Courtesy Musée Soulages

The exhibition continues with lyrical abstraction, ­the exhibition’s main focus, revealing a diverse group of works realised over the decade, some of which immediately stand out. These include a masterful painting by J. Mitchell (Untitled, 1954) in the middle of the space, and a green and gold canvas by Anna-Eva Bergman (1909-1987, No. 13-1955. Univers d’or, 1955), both hung on bright yellow picture rails and isolated from the others.

Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages - AWARE Artistes femmes / women artists

Exhibition view: Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture, Musée Soulages, Rodez, 14 December 2019 – 10 May 2020, Courtesy Musée Soulages

As the exhibition continues, the public can easily be drawn into the depths of the paintings by Marcelle Loubchansky (1917-1988) paintings, seduced by the ink drawings of Pierrette Bloch (1928-2017), and energised by the explosion of colour in the works of Shirley Jaffe (1923-2016).

Finally, the most striking point of this exhibition is undoubtedly the fact that the curators chose to punctuate the entire display with a dozen works that strikingly remind us of the existence of remarkable sculptors, such as Alicia Penalba (1918-1982), Isabelle Waldberg (1911-1990) and Simone Boisecq (1922-2012), all of whom are unfortunately rarely seen in museums.

 

Femmes années 50. Au fil de l’abstraction, peinture et sculpture from 14 December 2019 to 10 May 2020 at the Musée Soulages, Rodez, France.

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

Artists
Explore the artists
1925 — United States | 1992 — France
Joan Mitchell - AWARE

Joan Mitchell

1910 — 2005 | France
Aurélie Nemours - AWARE

Aurélie Nemours

1908 — Portugal | 1992 — France
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva - AWARE

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

1924 — Hungary | 2023 — France
Vera Molnár - AWARE

Vera Molnár

1935 — 2018 | France
Geneviève Claisse - AWARE

Geneviève Claisse

1923 — Hungary | 2008 — France
Marta Pan - AWARE

Marta Pan

1892 — Poland | 1966 — France
Jeanne Kosnick-Kloss - AWARE

Jeanne Kosnick-Kloss

1909 — Sweden | 1987 — France
Anna-Eva Bergman - AWARE

Anna-Eva Bergman

1928 — 2017 | France
Pierrette Bloch - AWARE

Pierrette Bloch

1923 — United States | 2016 — France
Shirley Jaffe - AWARE

Shirley Jaffe

1911 — Switzerland | 1990 — France
Isabelle Waldberg - AWARE

Isabelle Waldberg

1913 — Argentina | 1982 — France
Alicia Penalba - AWARE

Alicia Penalba

1936 | Palestine
Samia Halaby - AWARE

Samia Halaby

1911 — Denmark | 1984 — France
Sonja Ferlov Mancoba - AWARE

Sonja Ferlov Mancoba

1929 — 2015 | Norway
Inger Sitter - AWARE

Inger Sitter

1930 — 2004 | Italy
Dadamaino (Eduarda Emilia Maino, dite) - AWARE

Dadamaino (Eduarda Emilia Maino, dite)

1885 — Ukraine | 1979 — France
Sonia Delaunay - AWARE

Sonia Delaunay

1927 | France
Colette Brunschwig - AWARE

Colette Brunschwig

1862 — 1944 | Sweden
Hilma af Klint - AWARE

Hilma af Klint

1908 — 1989 | France
Marie Raymond - AWARE

Marie Raymond

1950 — 2004 | Japon
Toeko Tatsuno - AWARE

Toeko Tatsuno

1930 — 2018 | United Kingdom
Gillian Ayres - AWARE

Gillian Ayres

1899 — Germany | 1994 — United States
Anni Albers - AWARE

Anni Albers

1955 | Iran
Shirazeh Houshiary - AWARE

Shirazeh Houshiary

1905 — Moldova | 1990 — France
Ida Karskaya - AWARE

Ida Karskaya

1940 — 2007 | United States
Elizabeth Murray - AWARE

Elizabeth Murray

1964 | France
Dominique  De Beir - AWARE

Dominique De Beir

1908 — 1984 | United States
Lee Krasner - AWARE

Lee Krasner

1931 | United Kingdom
Bridget Riley - AWARE

Bridget Riley

1960 | Brazil
Beatriz Milhazes - AWARE

Beatriz Milhazes

1925 — 2006 | United Kingdom
Sandra Blow - AWARE

Sandra Blow

1918 — 1989 | United States
Elaine de Kooning - AWARE

Elaine de Kooning

1921 — Iraq | 2015 — Israel
Claire Yaniv - AWARE

Claire Yaniv

1928 — Brazil | 2024 — Lebanon
Yvette Achkar - AWARE

Yvette Achkar

1917 — 2015 | Uruguay
María Freire - AWARE

María Freire

1961 | Germany
Katharina Grosse - AWARE

Katharina Grosse

1952 | Suriname
Dineke Blom - AWARE

Dineke Blom

1923 | Canada
Françoise Sullivan - AWARE

Françoise Sullivan

1920 — 2002 | Vietnam
Điềm Phùng Thị - AWARE

Điềm Phùng Thị

1950 | Israel
Drora Dominey - AWARE

Drora Dominey

1901 — 1971 | Cuba
Loló Soldevilla - AWARE

Loló Soldevilla

How to cite this article:
Mathilde Bartier, "Women Artists in the Face of Abstraction at the Musée Soulages." In Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions magazine, . URL : https://awarewomenartists.com/en/magazine/femmes-artistes-face-a-labstraction-au-musee-soulages/. Accessed 14 July 2024

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