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Almine Rech

Action, Gesture, Paint: Women in Abstraction, A Global History (1940–1970)

Jun 3 — Oct 22, 2023 | Fondation Van Gogh Arles, France

The exhibition Action, Gesture, Paint: Women in Abstraction, A Global History (1940–1970) brings together 85 artists from around the world who worked to define and expand gestural and expressive abstraction between 1940 and 1970. Inspired by avant-garde movements such as Art Informel and Surrealism, they considered their creative practice as a space in which to act, experiment, and develop self-awareness. 

The selection of this particular historical moment calls attention to the intense upheaval experienced by these artists, who come from over 30 countries – global conflict, genocide, forced migration, exile… The works presented signal a collective sense of freedom led by a growing number of women who were becoming active protagonists in the art world. They show similarities (abstraction as well as a focus on materials and actions or events) and common influences (interpreted by each artist in her own way) but also a diverse range of cultural references. The language of modernity takes on a dimension that is at once cross-cultural and individual, with works shaped by both emotional states and specific creative contexts. 

Press release

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Vivian Springford (1913–2003), Untitled, 1961
Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 × 139.7 cm
Private collection

© Vivian Springford