Australian women artists will take centre stage across the National Gallery of Australia this November with the opening of Know My Name: Australian Women artists 1900 to Now – a flagship exhibition to showcase and increase the visibility of art made by women.
Postponed from its original May opening due to the pandemic closure, the additional planning has resulted in an expanded and more comprehensive exhibition, which is part of the Know My Name initiative designed to increase the representation of women artists (cis and trans) in the National Gallery of Australia’s programs and collection.
Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now will now bring together more than 350 works of art including new commissions, performances and works drawn from the national collection, as well as collections from across Australia.
National Gallery of Australia Assistant Director, Curatorial and Exhibitions, Natasha Bullock said the exhibition would tell a new story of Australian art. “We are turning up the volume on the many previously unheard voices in Australian art – and we urge the community and other institutions to join us on this journey to equity in our programming and collection development,” she said.
Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now will feature both lesser-known and leading artists such as Destiny Deacon, Marie Hagerty, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Margaret Preston, Julie Rrap and Margaret Worth.
The exhibition is curated by Deborah Hart, Head of Australian Art, and Elspeth Pitt, Curator Australian Paintings and Sculpture (20th, 21st centuries), along with contributions from Kelli Cole, Curator, Special Projects, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, and Rebecca Edwards, Curator, Sid and Fiona Myer Curator of Ceramics and Design.
Highlights from the exhibition include a commission by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers; the work of pioneering performance artists Bonita Ely and Jill Orr; a complete edition of Tracey Moffatt’s key series of photographs, Something more; a major collaborative painting by the Ken Family Collaborative; an installation by Justene Williams; and a commission by Jo Lloyd, supported by Phillip Keir and Sarah Benjamin.
“This exhibition aspires to make the art of women better known in the wider community, and to counter the dominance of historical displays emphasising men,” said Ms Hart. “Given the number of significant women artists past and present, this exhibition can only be partial; it is not an endpoint or separate from other endeavours, rather it is part of a continuum and an ongoing reassessment.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication, Know My Name, delving into the histories and inspirations of a cross-section of Australian women artists, including many featured in the National Gallery of Australia show. A number of commissions for the exhibition will also be acquired for the national collection.
Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now
National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes (Canberra)
Exhibition: 13 November 2020 – 31 January 2021
For more information, visit: www.knowmyname.nga.gov.au for details
Image: Tjungkara Ken, Sandra Ken, Yaritji Young, Freda Brady, Maringka Tunkin, Seven Sisters, 2018. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2020