Show image caption Lenore Tawney At Work In Studio, New York, USA. Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Beyond Form: Lines of Abstraction, 1950-1970

First Floor Galleries

Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Beyond Form: Lines of Abstraction, 1950 - 1970, a major new exhibition which connects the work of over 50 women from across the globe through a shared language of radical abstraction.

Saturday 3 February

Saturday 3 February - Monday 6 May 2024

Turner Contemporary Rendezvous, Margate, Kent CT9 1HG

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From Bridget Riley’s grids to Louise Bourgeois’s phallic bulges, this show is a glorious celebration of female abstract artists whose often-denigrated work now feels unstoppable.

The Guardian

This spring, Turner Contemporary presents Beyond Form: Lines of Abstraction, 1950-1970, a group exhibition presenting abstraction as a radical global language shared by women artists in the twenty years following World War II. Guest curated by Dr Flavia Frigeri, the exhibition brings together the works of more than 50 artists to examine how, through abstract forms, materials and modes, women pushed the boundaries of artmaking while tackling seismic cultural, social and political shifts. Comprising over 80 artworks, predominantly sculpture, the exhibition traces how the language of abstraction developed on a global scale.

The exhibition includes sculptures by Mária Bartuszová, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Hannah Wilke. It highlights Marisa Merz’s Living Sculpture (1966), a piece realised within the intimate confines of a domestic space before the artist had a studio. It also explores Carla Accardi and Marta Pan’s innovative use of modern materials to redefine space and perception. The fibre art of Maria Teresa Chojnacka and Ewa Pachucka is also featured, symbolising resistance and liberation from state censorship or monitoring. Complementing the sculptural focus of the exhibition are select paintings and reliefs, such as Carmen Herrera’s East (1965) and Agnes Martin’s Morning (1965), enriching the understanding of this artistic period. 

Featuring: Carla Accardi; Novera Ahmed; Ruth Asawa; Maria Bartuszová; Lynda Benglis; Louise Bourgeois; Maria Theresa Chojnacka; Lygia Clark; Saloua Raouda Choucair; Sue Fuller; Eva Hesse; Marisa Merz; Yuko Nasaka; Louise Nevelson; Mona Saudi; Lenore Tawney; Hedda Sterne; Hannah Wilke, and more. 

Together, the works included in Beyond Form map a constellation that speaks to the global, collective language of abstraction that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries through the universal medium of sculpture. 

Beyond Form is guest curated by Dr Flavia Frigeri, art historian and ‘Chanel Curator for the Collection’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London. At Turner Contemporary the exhibition is realised with Sarah Martin, Head of Exhibitions. 

Clore Learning Studio

Turner Contemporary is working with the participatory artist group Leap Then Look to bring an interactive exhibition to the Clore Learning Studio, alongside the Children’s Art Library and workshop programme. Making connections between the abstract sculptural works featured in Beyond Form, Leap Then Look have brought tactile objects to the space for visitors of all ages and abilities to make their own sculptural works across different scales and materials. The exhibition encourages people to work together, inspiring playfulness, inquisitiveness and experimentation.

Leap Then Look will be delivering a Lacuna session for arts educators and teachers on ‘Collaborative Practice’ in the Clore Learning Studio on Friday 22 March 2024.  

Leap Then Look was established in Spring 2019 by artists Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie. Since then, they have run participatory projects at institutions including Tate, Royal Academy, National Gallery, Towner Eastbourne, Compton Verney, and V&A. They are supported by Arts Council England.

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