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Happy International Women’s Day! - Blog

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is all about empowering women and putting their (our!) talents and achievements in the spotlight. In honour of that, we’re thrilled to be bringing you a special, female-focused addition to our City Guides series. Presenting…

Our Favourite Artworks by Women at the New MoMA in Manhattan

We’re extremely lucky that MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) is on the doorstep of our Trichological Centre in Manhattan. We’ve always loved MoMA. It offers a world-class collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces – not to mention a design-focused gift shop, packed full of beautiful things (perfect for a lunch-time browse!).

However, we’ve always wished that instead of concentrating quite so much on men, the museum would showcase more of the amazing female artists who’ve been practicing throughout the decades.

Now our wishes have been answered. After shutting down for four months of 2019 and spending $450 million on a redesign, MoMA is back with a more gender-balanced focus. It has added more works by women to its collection. And it’s displaying them centre-stage, where they deserve to be. We, for our part, are delighted.

Today, we’re celebrating five of our favourite artworks by women in the museum’s spruced-up galleries. Next time you’re in midtown Manhattan (either for a Philip Kingsley Treatment or otherwise!) why not pop in and admire them in person?

The Dove, No. 2/Series UW, Group IX (1915)

Hilma af Klint

Image Credit: moma.org

When Swedish painter Hilma af Klint died in 1944, she believed that the world wasn’t ready for her work. That’s why she asked for her paintings not to be exhibited anywhere for at least 20 years after her death.

Luckily, af Klint’s ground-breaking canvases are finally getting the recognition they deserve. She is now acknowledged as the first true abstract artist, predating better-known male painters like Kandinsky and Mondrian.

Her solo show at the Guggenheim in 2018-19 was that museum’s most-visited exhibition ever. If you missed it, don’t despair – you can still see this gorgeous painting at MoMA.

Fiery Sunset (1973)

Alma Thomas

Image Credit: moma.org

Alma Thomas was a retired art teacher when she launched her professional painting career aged 68. In 2015, her canvas Resurrection was selected by Michelle Obama to hang in the White House – the first artwork by an African-American woman to have that honour.

Now, Thomas’s Fiery Sunset occupies a prime place at MoMA, displayed alongside other abstract expressionists like Matisse. We love its electrifying shades – they’re even brighter and more eye-catching in person.

Self-Portrait with Two Flowers in her Raised Left Hand (1907)

Paula Modersohn-Becker

Image Credit: moma.org

German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker was an important early Expressionist. She’s one of the first female artists known to have painted nude self-portraits – and here, she depicts herself pregnant, her hand resting on her belly.

Tragically, Modersohn-Becker died a few months after completing this painting, from complications during the birth of her daughter. She was 31.

A Lua (The Moon) (1928)

Tarsila do Amaral

Image Credit: moma.org

Tarsila do Amaral is recognised as the inventor of modern art in Brazil. She spent much of the 1920s in Paris, alongside artists like Picasso and Dali – then exported her own original brand of Modernism back to her native country. Despite her importance, Tarsila’s first solo exhibition in the USA wasn’t until 2018.

We love the curving shapes and saturated colours in this canvas, not to mention its ambiguity. Is the figure in the foreground a cactus or a human? Dreamlike, rich, and entrancing.

And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur (1953)

Leonora Carrington

Image Credit: moma.org

British-born Mexican artist Leonora Carrington was known for her wonderfully surreal oil paintings, depicting otherworldly visions in bold, meticulous detail. We love the blending of myth, folklore, fairytale and mysticism here. Themes of ritual and strangeness, femininity and growth, wildness and civilisation mingle in a bare, suggestive setting. We could stare at it for hours.