Mega-Gallery Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Opens With 100 Women Artists

Female sculptors get the attention they deserve in a new exhibition.

by Robin Cembalest

Louise Bourgeois

Back when male action painters like Jackson Pollock dominated the art world, the artists Louise Bourgeois and Lee Bontecou were sculpting body fragments with a raw intimacy that was taboo; soon after, Sheila Hicks and Eva Hesse would bring textiles and other non-art materials into the studio. “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016” (March 13 through September 4) looks at the largely uncredited role that female sculptors have played in recent art history. The show inaugurates the Los Angeles gallery Hauser Wirth & Schimmel and introduces co-curator Paul Schimmel in the role of gallerist. On view are works by 100 female artists—a mix of stalwarts like Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama, and their heirs, including Karla Black, who sculpts with cosmetics, and Shinique Smith, who’s making a huge braid knotted with balloons, fashion accessories, and plush toys. Of course, the craft elements that originally marginalized many women are commonly used by artists today. Women, says co-curator Jenni Sorkin, “have been at the helm all along.”

Ruth Asawa’s Group of Architectural Works, 1955–1965. Courtesy of JKA Photography/San Jose Museum of Art/Estate of Ruth Asawa.