These Are the Five Female Artists Tate Is Spotlighting Next Year

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Paula Rego - Bride
Paula Rego, Bride, 1994© Paula Rego

As part of a campaign for Women’s History Month, #5WomenArtists, Tate has released details of five monumental exhibitions set to open over the next two years

This month marks Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day falling on March 8 and events happening over the coming weeks in celebration of women the world over. With the arrival of this month, Tate has announced five upcoming exhibitions focusing on significant female artists set to open in its galleries over the next two years. The news comes as part of a campaign entitled #5WomenArtists, organised by Washington DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts, which has seen over 1,000 galleries and institutions globally take part by announcing forthcoming plans for spotlighting female artists.

The programme announced by Tate features exciting names in contemporary art. London-based painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who curator Antonia Marsh wrote about for us earlier this week, will be the subject of an exhibition at Tate Britain, set to open in May 2020; following successful exhibitions in New York this year and previously at the Serpentine Gallery, Turner Prize-nominee Yiadom-Boakye’s contemplative paintings have captivated the art and literary worlds (Yiadom-Boakye is also a writer, and counts Zadie Smith among her fans).

The following year will see a retrospective of Paula Rego’s 50-year career, featuring paintings, drawings and prints, at the same gallery. (“It was exciting to think that women could do what men could do. It felt just. I don’t use the ideas directly but I try and get justice for women... at least in the pictures. Revenge too,” Rego told us last year, as her paintings were shown in Tate Britain’s mammoth exhibition All Too Human.) At Tate Modern, visceral textile sculptures by the late Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz will arrive at the gallery in June, while later in the year a retrospective of 20th century artist Maria Bartuszova will open. The fifth artist announced by Tate is Haegue Yang: the South Korean’s “multisensory” work will be exhibited in St Ives in the summer of 2020.

What began as a social media campaign to see if people could simply name five women artists, the hashtag and subsequent awareness of such artists, both historical and contemporary, has become a significant aspect of Women’s History Month. Tate’s celebration of female artists in its programming is a significant step towards addressing gender parity in the art world, which the wider #5WomenArtists campaign aims to do. Following Richard Saltoun Gallery’s announcement that it will dedicate the next year of its exhibitions to women – the programme, 100% Women, commences today with the opening of Rose English: Form, Feminisms, Femininities – and with Tate hosting events over Women’s History Month, March (and beyond) looks to be an exciting moment in British art.