Peering Through the Female Gaze

by Jessica Fuentes May 15, 2022
A large-scale portrait of a woman reclining on a couch. The figure is rendered in shades of cream and blue.

Hope Gangloff, “Queen Jane Approximately,” 2011, acrylic on canvas. Collection of Alturas Foundation, San Antonio, Texas.

A painting of two women seated at a bar table. Each figure holds a glass and looks off to the side as if they are watching something that the viewer cannot see.

Ania Hobson, “Two Girls in a Bar,” 2020, oil on canvas. Green Family Art Foundation, courtesy of Adam Green Art Advisory.

Today The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opened its much-anticipated exhibition Women Painting Women. Featuring 46 female artists whose work spans from the late 1960s to today, this show sets up important conversations between artists and artworks.

A mixed-media collage painting featuring two young black girls.

Deborah Roberts, “Shanika and Grace,” 2022, mixed-media collage on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.]

A close-up painting of a woman's face and partial chest. The figure appears to be laying down with eyes closed. The figure is painted in shades of gray with hints of pink.

Marlene Dumas, “Jen,” 2005, oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis in honor of Klause Biesenbach and Christophe Cherix, 2006.

Though these types of showcases of “all female artists” or “all [insert identifier] artists” can sometimes lack a larger cohesive idea and thus come across like a hodge-podge of works, that is not the case with Women Painting Women. The show’s main thrust is paintings (and mixed-media works) by women and of women and female identifying people, which together reveal various portrayals of “the female gaze.” 

A self-portrait by Emma Amons. Amons is depicted wearing a red dress and framed by a doorway. She holds a glass measuring cup with water in her hand and a a plant sits in the foreground.

Emma Amons, “Woman with Flower Pot,” 1963, oil on canvas. Doree Friedman.

Additionally, the exhibition is presented in four themes, including Color as Portrait, Selfhood, Nature Personified, and The Body. With about fifty works of art on view, there is much to take in. Plan to visit with plenty of time for close looking, and perhaps schedule a second or third viewing before the exhibition closes on September 25, 2022.  

A painting by Luchita Hurtado featuring two nude female figures. The figures stand on a patterned rug and the point of view of the viewer is from above looking down.

Luchita Hurtado, “Untitled,” 1970, oil on canvas. Courtesy of The Estate of Lucita Hurtado and Hauser & Wirth.

A triptych of paintings of the same full-bodied female figure from slightly different perspectives.

Jenny Saville, “Strategy (North Face, Front Face, South Face),” 1994, oil on canvas. The Broad Art Foundation.

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