Action / Gesture / Paint : a global story of women and abstraction 1940-70 available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Action / Gesture / Paint : a global story of women and abstraction 1940-70

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survey of women working in abstract expressionism

Drawing on the avant-garde movements of both Expressionism and Surrealism, the women of Abstract Expressionism redefined artistic practice as an immersive arena for action, process and consciousness. Their paintings were regarded not as images but as events. Although the movement officially began in mid-century USA, it quickly – through myriad means – spread around the world and became a catalyst for redefining ideas around aesthetics, poetry, philosophy and politics.

This new publication, accompanying a major European touring exhibition, will include works by 40 artists from across the globe, from well-known practitioners such as Carmen Herrera, Etel Adnan, Sandra Blow and Helen Frankenthaler, to lesser-known names from countries such as Australia, China, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Mozambique, Romania and Venezuela: women who took up the ideas and methodologies of the movement but endowed them with specific cultural and subjective dimensions.

The catalogue will include essays by Christian Levett, Joan Marter, Agustin Perez Rubio and Elizabeth Smith, as well as full colour illustrations of all the works.

Due for publication at end March and available for pre-order.


  • Author: Laura Smith
  • Paperback: 200 pages | 150 illustrations
  • Date published: March 2023
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780854883134
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 15.5 cm

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