'Revolution' Celebrates 70 Years of Abstract Sculptures by Women

"Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016" inaugurates Hauser Wirth & Schimmel's new location in Los Angeles' Arts District early next year.

by Sami Emory
30 November 2015, 2:55pm

Lee Bontecou in her Wooster Street studio, New York, 1964, Courtesy Archivio Ugo Mulas, Milano – Galleria Lia Rumma, Milano/Napoli, Photo: Ugo Mulas © Ugo Mulas Heirs. All rights reserved

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016 is a celebration of seven decades of female sculptors from around the world. The exhibition, which inaugurates Hauser Wirth & Schimmel's new location in Los Angeles’ Arts District, will display 100 pieces from 34 different artists. As the show’s press release explains, “The exhibition examines how elements that are central to art today […] were propelled by the work of women who, in seeking new means to express their own voices, dramatically expanded the definition of sculpture.”

Revolution in the Making was co-curated by Paul Schimmel—partner and vice president at Hauser & Wirth—and Jenni Sorkin, an art history professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The collaborating duo has organized the show chronologically, beginning with the haunting work of post-war era artists (from Ruth Asawa to Louise Nevelson) and ending with the generally more flamboyant colors of contemporary sculptors (from Phyllida Barlow to Kaari Upson) which were commissioned specifically for the show. In between, we see the Post-Minimalist methods of sculptors such as Yayoi Kusama, and Post-Modernist statements from Ursula von Rydingsvard.

As is implied by its title, this chronologically sweeping show particularly highlights revolutionary moments of cohesion between art and women’s movements. Overall, the show concerns itself with the subject of the “autonomous” artist in her studio as an image of “materiality, expressiveness, and tactility.” A more explicit example of this is in the section on pieces produced during the 1960s and 70s. Here, we see an investigation of the close relationship of Post-Minimalism and feminism and how this shaped the sculptors and sculptures to come. 

Below, get a glimpse into the Revolution in the Making, coming soon to Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. 

Sheila Hicks, Banisteriopsis II, 1965 – 1966 / 2010, Linen and wool, dimensions variable, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Gift of the artist in honor of Jenelle Porter, 2012.26, Photo: Charles Mayer

Lynda Benglis, Wing, 1970, Cast aluminum, 170.2 x 151.1 x 152.4 cm / 67 x 59 1/2 x 60 in, Art © Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and Cheim & Read, New York. 

Eva Hesse, Aught, 1968 and Augment, 1968, Installation view, ‘9 at Leo Castelli’, Leo Castelli, New York NY, 1968, © The Estate of Eva Hesse, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Ursula von Rydingsvard, Untitled (Nine Cones), 1976, Cedar, 107 x 457 x 396 cm / 42 x 180 x 156 in, Installation view, Battery Park City Landfill, New York NY, 1977, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and Galerie Lelong, New York

Installation view, ‘Phyllida Barlow. GIG’, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2014, Photo: Alex Delfanne

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (The Wedges), 1950, Painted wood and stainless steel, 160 x 34.3 x 30.5 cm / 63 x 13 1/2 x 12 in, Collection The Easton Foundation, © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Photo: Christopher Burke; Kaari Upson, Trashole Trashole, 2015, Urethane, pigment and aluminum, 126.8 x 57 x 107.5 cm / 50 x 22 1/3 x 42 1/3 in, Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Massimo De Carlo, Milano/London, Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

Or, come see the Revolution for yourself at Hauser Wirth & Shimmel from March 13 to September 4, 2016. Find out more about the show here


Using Sculptures to Replicate the Human Experience

Dancers, Horses, and Women: Exploring the Fixations of Edgar Degas

An Artist Buried an Army of 'Terracotta Daughters' in China

Los Angeles
Female Artists
abstract art
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel
Jenni Sorkin
Paul Schimmel
Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016