The longstanding exclusion of women artists from art history, exhibitions, collections, the art market and commercial gallery representation is not a debatable issue, it’s a fact. When exhibitions consist of only the work of men—the norm in gallery and museum exhibitions and collections—they are not identified as such because they don’t have to be. We don’t see titles like Men Artists from the Collection. In an effort to bring the work of women artists back into the conversation, Speaking for Herself mines the AGH collection to bring together significant work by significant artists who identify as women.
We wish to explore our holdings—historical, modern and contemporary—in a range of material practices including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. The project features the achievements of both known or recognized artists while introducing lesser-knowns into the discussion. These conversations between historical and contemporary artists of diverse cultural backgrounds explore a broad range of themes including the body, identity, materiality, and private versus public selves.
In the spirit and momentum of this empowering historical moment for women around the world, we are very proud to present an exhibition that foregrounds the artistic voices of so many intelligent, perceptive, witty, strong, and creative women.
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Header Image: Prudence Heward (Canadian 1896-1947), Girl Under a Tree (detail), 1931, oil on canvas. Gift of the artist’s family, 1961.