7 Of The Coolest Women Artists To See This Year

Courtesy of Tate Modern
Are you familiar with The Great Women Artists Instagram account yet? Launched by Katy Hessel in 2015 after finishing her art history degree, her daily posts of, yes, work by great women artists, have since soared in popularity.
The art is varied, attention-grabbing and generally beautiful of course, but the pictures shared by @thegreatwomenartists are also an antidote to the side of social media that we all tend to struggle with. "[It’s] an account that’s positive and doesn’t make you feel jealous or left behind," Hessel tells Refinery29. "The response is so nice because people just seem really engaged with it. Even people who thought they didn’t like art, or didn’t really know anything about it, they still feel they can learn something every day."
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Hessel started the account because she noticed that, despite years of studying the history of art, she was very rarely taught about female artists (if at all) and struggled to find them exhibited in galleries. She saw an opportunity to proactively celebrate the women who weren’t being shouted about elsewhere. "I love the subject so much, and it’s so important because so much of the time people only know the 'greats'. If you go up to [someone] in the street, the greats that they say are probably always going to be men." I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that the rhetoric of our society remains deeply embedded in the fine art world, too.
Beyond the famous men we see exhibited all the time, there are so many incredible women artists to know, see and get excited about, but it's only in the last couple of years that big galleries have started to give them the space to be seen. London's Serpentine Galleries are hosting an all-female lineup in 2019 and, as Hessel and I speak over the phone, she's just hours away from flying to New York for Sotheby's first ever female Old Masters sale.
Things are moving, visibility is growing, and it's clear that Hessel is excited to be a part of it. "I think it's changing with the rise of the internet," she explains. "I wouldn't have a voice if it wasn’t for the internet at all! I actually curated a show about female artists who use Instagram as a platform for their career and I think there is a correlation between the rise of fourth wave feminism and the internet."
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Next month she'll be heading to Tate Britain to curate a Great Women Artists event for one of their after-hours 'Lates' and with all her expert knowledge, it seemed only logical to ask Hessel to point us in the direction of some great people to check out this year. Ahead, she briefly talks us through her top seven female artists and their exhibitions coming up in 2019. Have your Instagram and calendar at the ready.
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Courtesy of Hayward Gallery
Diane Arbus at Hayward Gallery

"One of the most renowned photographers of the 20th century, NYC-raised Arbus was known for her photographs of everyone from every demographic: children, eccentrics, circus performers. This show at the Hayward will chronicle the artist’s first seven years as a photographer."

13th February – 6th May 2019
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Courtesy of Parafin
Flora Yukhnovich at Parafin

"Flora Yukhnovich is a modern master with her contemporary take on Tiepolo-inspired canvases."

8th February – 30th March 2019
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Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery
Antonia Showering, Naudline Pierre, Heidi Hahn (and more) at Stephen Friedman Gallery

"This will be a beautiful painting show with six of the most exciting young painters working today who are currently shaping the language of figuration in their surreal-like works."

7th February – 2nd March 2019
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Courtesy of Peer
Jadé Fadojutimi at Peer

"Young abstract sensation Fadojutimi is having her first institutional solo show comprised of her vibrant and complex paintings that physically burst with colour as you gaze over them."

1st February – 30th March 2019
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Courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
Sofia Stevi at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

"Stevi is known for her emotionally charged liquid visions inspired from dreams, Greek mythology, poetry and media."

25th January – 23rd February 2019
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Courtesy of Tate Modern
Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern

"Leading surrealist Dorothea Tanning, whose career spanned a staggering seven decades, was known for her enigmatic paintings that depicted uncanny subjects."

27th February – 9th June 2019
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Courtesy of Barbican
Lee Krasner at Barbican

"Key member of the New York School and Abstract Expressionists, Lee Krasner was known for her vibrantly coloured and giant canvases. This is the first solo show of the artist in over 50 years!"

30th May – 1st September 2019
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