Presenting works by Rita Angus, Tanya Ashkin, Jacqueline Fahey, Patricia France, Louise Henderson, Frances Hodgkins, Gabrielle Hope, A. Lois White and others, Gow Langsford’s forthcoming exhibition Dynamic Women: Revisiting New Zealand Modernism posits a tentative matrilineal history of New Zealand’s modern art.
Beginning in the 1890s, when Hodgkins painted some of her earliest works, and ending in the 1970s, the period the exhibition charts is one of immense change to social forms and particularly gender relations, covering loosely the interval between the passing of women’s suffrage in 1893 and the formation of the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s. Seen together, the artworks demonstrate the way these shifts filtered into the concerns, sensibilities and lifestyles of their makers, who then metabolised them for the next generation in line.
Dynamic Women opens 27 September in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and will be on view until 14 October. Meanwhile, in Pōneke, from 23 September, City Gallery Wellington will pick up where Gow Langsford left off with Archive: alter/ image, which revists an exhibition curated by Tina Barton and Deborah Lawler-Dormer in 1993 to celebrate the centenary of the women’s suffrage, looking at artworks created between 1973–1993 and the feminist consciousness that informed them.