Press Release

Women in Abstraction

  • Dates: October 22, 2021 – February 27, 2022
  • Curators: Christine Macel, Chief Curator at the Centre Pompidou; Karolina Lewandowska, Curator of Photography and Director of the Museum of Warsaw, in collaboration with Lekha Hileman Waitoller, Curator of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • Exhibition organized by the Centre Pompidou Paris in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
  • Sponsored by: Fundación BBVA


  • Women in Abstraction sets out to write the history of the contributions made by female artists to abstraction in the 20th century, through to about the 1980s, with a few incursions into the 19th century.
  • In accordance with the terms chosen for the title, the artists are presented here as players and cocreators in their own right, of modernism and its legacy.
  • The exhibition reveals the process of invisibilization that marked the work of these female artists, while still presenting their positions, with all their complexities and paradoxes. Many of these artists adopted a non-gendered identity while others laid claim to a “female” art.
  • This history aims to be open, embracing dance, the decorative arts, photography and film. The perspective is also intended to be comprehensive, including the modernities of Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, while not forgetting African American women artists and Spanish artists, some of whom have not had international recognition, in order to recount a multi-voiced history and reach beyond the western canon.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Women in Abstraction, an exhibition sponsored by the BBVA Foundation that shares a new vision of the history of abstraction from its origins to the 1980s through the works of more than one hundred female artists that span visual arts, dance, photography, film, and decorative arts. Through a chronological analysis, the exhibit highlights the processes that led to the invisibility of female artists and points out some of the milestones that marked the history of abstraction, while questioning esthetic canons, without defining a new one.



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