Skip to main content
Almine Rech

Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-70

Feb 9 — May 7, 2023 | Whitechapel Gallery, London

 A major new exhibition brings together for the first time over 150 paintings by an overlooked generation of 81 international women artists. 

Whitechapel Gallery presents Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-70. The exhibition reaches beyond the predominantly white, male painters whose names are synonymous with the Abstract Expressionism movement, to discover the practices of numerous international women artists working with gestural abstraction in the aftermath of the Second World War. 

The exhibition’s geographic breadth demonstrates that, while the Abstract Expressionism movement is said to have begun in the USA, artists all over the world were exploring similar themes of materiality, freedom of expression, perception and gesture in the mid-century period, from Art Informel to Arte Povera in Europe, and from calligraphic abstraction in East Asia to experimental, highly political practices in Central and South America, and the Middle East. The exhibition features well-known artists associated with the Abstract Expressionism movement, including American artists Lee Krasner (b.1908, USA-d.1984, USA) and Helen Frankenthaler (b.1928, USA-d.2011, USA), alongside lesser-known figures such as Mozambican artist Bertina Lopes (b.1924, Mozambique-d.2012, Italy) and Korean artist Wook-kyung Choi (b.1940, Korea-d.1985, South Korea). More than half of the works have never before been on public display in the UK.

Press release

  • read or download in English