Tate Britain is launching a new landmark exhibition next week, dedicated to women artists working in Britain over the last six decades.
Aptly named Sixty Years, around 60 works by artists such as Mona Hatoum, Sarah Lucas and Bridget Riley will be brought together for the first time.
It will tell the story of British art from 1960 to the present day, celebrating its diversity and embracing key movements and debates through these female artists, working in painting, photography, sculpture, drawing and film.
"The recent histories of the Turner Prize, Tate’s exhibition programme and contemporary acquisitions reflect the critical role of women in the history of British art over the last 60 years," says Alex Farquharson, director at Tate Britain. "This presentation, Sixty Years, will offer a significant moment to recognise and celebrate a selection of Britain’s most important artists working from the 1960s to the present day."
The exhibition follows last year's marking of the centenary of the right to vote for women over the age of thirty in the UK. In 2018, Annie Swynnerton’s portrait of leading suffragist Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett went on display at Tate Britain, and Tate Collective London in collaboration with the Mayor of London launched LDN WMN, a vast display of 20 public artworks across in the capital by emerging artists highlighting many women who have played a crucial role in London’s history.
Major highlights in the forthcoming display will include Gillian Wearing’s film Sacha and Mum 1996 and Susan Hiller’s multimedia installation Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall 1983-84. Combining video, colour photography, drawing, sound and interior furnishing, Hiller’s large-scale work recalls the traditional hearth of a domestic living room centred around a television set and was the first video installation ever to be acquired by Tate in 1984.
Following the unveiling of Monster Chetwynd’s popular Tate Britain Winter Commission in November, the display will also include two new mixed media works by the artist: Crazy Bat Lady 2018 and Jesus and Barabbas (Odd Man Out 2011) 2018.
Photographs, film and costumes based on Rose English’s large-scale performance work Quadrille 1975, 2013 will be brought together as a single installation for the first time, alongside Rita Donagh’s neon and argon tube sculpture affirm/deny 1972. Other artists will include Turner Prize winners Tomma Abts and Rachel Whiteread, as well as Sonia Boyce and Rose Wylie.
To celebrate the opening of 60 Years, Tate Britain has also published two new books: the first ever children’s book dedicated solely to women artists, The Bigger Picture: Women Who Changed the Art World by Sophia Bennett and Manjit Thapp, and for an older audience: The Art of Feminism by Helena Reckitt.
Sixty Years is curated by Sofia Karamani, Assistant Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate and will open on 22 April 2019. Find out more at www.tate.org.uk.