Women of Abstract Expressionism

On View through September 25, 2016

Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959

Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959. Oil on canvas; 77-5/8 x 131-1/4 x 1-1/8 in. Denver Art Museum: Vance H. Kirkland Acquisition Fund. © Elaine de Kooning Trust

Mary Abbott, All Green, about 1954. Oil paint on linen.

Mary Abbott, All Green, about 1954. Oil paint on linen, 49 x 45 1/8 in. Gift of Janis and Tom McCormick, 2013.250. © Mary Abbott

Judith Godwin, Epic,1959. Oil paint on canvas (diptych)

Judith Godwin, Epic, 1959. Oil paint on canvas (diptych), 82 x 100 in. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Gift of Caroline Rose Hunt. Photograph by Lee Stalsworth. © Judith Godwin.

Perle Fine, Summer I, 1958-59. Oil paint and collage on canvas.

Perle Fine, Summer I, 1958-59. Oil paint and collage on canvas, 57 x 70 in. Collection of Craig A. Ponzio. Image courtesy McCormick Gallery, Chicago. © AE Artworks, LLC.

Ethel Schwabacher, Antigone I, 1958. Oil paint on canvas.

Ethel Schwabacher, Antigone I, 1958. Oil paint on canvas, 51 x 85 in. (129.54 x 215.9 cm). Collection and courtesy of Christopher C. Schwabacher and Brenda S. Webster. © Estate of Ethel Schwabacher

On View through September 25, 2016

Hamilton Building - Level 4
Included in general admission.

The groundbreaking exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism celebrates the often unknown female artists of this mid-twentieth-century art movement. More than 50 major paintings are on view by artists working on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and '50s: Mary Abbott, Jay DeFeo, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gechtoff, Judith Godwin, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Deborah Remington, and Ethel Schwabacher. This is the first presentation of works by these artists together at one time.

Women of Abstract Expressionism focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism, while revealing inward reverie and painterly expression in these works by individuals responding to particular places, memories, and life experiences.

An original video is on view in the exhibition (watch trailer in the slide show at top), and includes accounts about exciting moments in these artists' lives, as well as issues affecting women during this time period. An educational lounge offers a space for visitors to explore the climate of the 1950s through images, ephemera, and music (with a playlist available on Spotify), a glimpse into other aspects of the artists' lives, and a chance to reflect upon and share personal experiences.

An illustrated catalog is available in The Shops at the Denver Art Museum.

The exhibition is organized by the Denver Art Museum and curated by Gwen Chanzit, the museum's curator of modern art. After the DAM, the exhibition will travel to the Mint Museum, Charlotte, in October 2016 and the Palm Springs Art Museum in February 2017.

Women of Abstract Expressionism is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is generously funded by Merle Chambers; Henry Luce Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; the Ponzio Family; U.S. Bank; Christie’s; Harmes C. Fishback Foundation Trust; Barbara Bridges; DAM Contemporaries, a support group of the Denver Art Museum; Dedalus Foundation; Bette MacDonald; Joan Mitchell Foundation; Helen Frankenthaler Foundation; Deborah Remington Charitable Trust for the Visual Arts; the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign; and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.

The film, produced in association with Women of Abstract Expressionism, is generously supported by Barbara Bridges and DAM Contemporaries, a support group of the Denver Art Museum.

Women of Abstract Expressionism (on view June 12–September 25, 2016) is included in general admission and is free for members.

Become a member or renew your membership online or call 720-913-0130 (10 am–5 pm).

Group Tickets, Group Tours & Event Rentals

Specially priced tickets for groups of 10 or more are now available, as well as reservations for private gallery rentals and events. Exhibition tours for groups also can be scheduled (3-week advance reservations required).

Please contact group sales at 720-913-0088 or email groupsales@denverartmuseum.org for group tickets and booking details.

  • Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959
    Event: Tours

    Women of Abstract Expressionism Tours

    Occurs every day the museum is open through September 25, 2016. Next Occurs on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 2:00pm.

    A 45-minute public tour of the groundbreaking Women of Abstract Expressionism. Tours offered daily at 2 pm, June 12 through September 25. More

  • Women of Abstract Expressionism logo

    Not Just a Guy’s Club: Gender Dynamics & Women Painters in the American 1950s

    Lecture 3 in the Series: Women of Abstract Expressionism in Context
    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 6:30pm8:00pm.

    Join the Clyfford Still Museum and the Denver Art Museum for a series of co-sponsored talks around this groundbreaking exhibition. More

  • Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959
    Event: Access

    Art & About Tour

    Art & Movement
    Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 1:30pm2:30pm.

    Art & About tours are designed for visitors with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. In August, we'll discuss how artists respond to places, memories and life experiences. More

  • Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959

    Drop-In Writing: Expressions in Shape & Color

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 1:00pm3:00pm.

    This month, we'll explore how color and shape—abstract expressions of emotion—can inform concrete expressions in written form. More

  • Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959. Oil on canvas.

    Mindful Looking

    Women of Abstract Expressionism
    Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 1:00pm1:45pm.

    Meet inside the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibition on level 4 of the Hamilton Building. More

  • Women of Abstract Expressionism logo

    The Advantages of Obscurity: San Francisco Women Abstract Expressionists

    Lecture 4 in the Series: Women of Abstract Expressionism in Context
    Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 6:30pm8:00pm.

    Join the Clyfford Still Museum and the Denver Art Museum for a series of co-sponsored talks around this groundbreaking exhibition. More

  • The entrance to Women of Abstract Expressionism with photos of the artists and some of their work

    Curator Gwen Chanzit Takes an In-Depth Look at Women of Abstract Expressionism

    Women were full participants in the early years of the abstract expressionist movement—not just followers, as some would tell it. More

  • Untitled Final Fridays logo

    Plan on a Powerhouse Night at the DAM

    June 24, 2016, 6-10 pm

    Get ready for a night of laughs, drama, and good times at Untitled: Power House. More

  • Gallery view of paintings by Sonia Gechtoff

    Building New Walls for a New Art Exhibition

    Get the scoop on how the DAM added vertical walls to the galleries for Women of Abstract Expressionism. More

  • Women of Abstract Expressionism logo and black and white photos of 4 women abstract artists

    National Media Say Don't Miss Women of Abstract Expressionism

    See what the buzz is all about. More