Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud), Past/Presence/Future, 2020; Gas mask, seed beads, smoked brain-tanned hide, acrylic paint, Oklahoma red dirt, and matte medium; 41 x 10 x 5 in.; Great Plains Art Collection, Museum purchase through the generosity of Lincoln Community Foundation and BNSF Railway Foundation; Photo by Bill Ganzel, Ganzel Group Communications
New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024
Apr 14 – Aug 11, 2024
NMWA / National Museum of Women in the Arts
Washington, USA

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024, the largest edition of the museum’s longstanding series featuring international emerging artists. Opening April 14, the exhibition highlights the work of 28 visionary artists who imagine alternate realities. With perspectives that shift across geographies, cultural viewpoints and mediums, the artists inspire viewers to envision different futures. New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 is on view through August 11, 2024.

During the past few years, artists have seen the world transformed by a global pandemic, political division, climate change and advocacy for social reform. Their responses to these extraordinary times – in paintings, sculpture, photography, installation, video and textiles – highlight their visions for creating or re-creating a new world, whether exploring facets of the past, present or future. The exhibition will be accompanied by performances and artist talks, to be announced in the coming months.

“The artists in New Worlds, many who have created work specifically for this exhibition, are being recognized for challenging today’s status quo, encouraging us to see issues from multiple viewpoints and envisioning different futures than most of the rest of us can possibly imagine,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling.

Presented every three years, the Women to Watch series is a dynamic collaboration between the museum and its global network of outreach committees. The national and international committees participating in New Worlds worked with curators in their regions to create shortlists of artists. From this list, NMWA curators selected the artists and works to exhibit at the museum. The second major exhibition after NMWA’s reopening from a transformative multi-year renovation, New Worlds will immerse visitors in the museum’s renewed gallery spaces. The exhibition features seven works created specifically for NMWA, including several site-specific installations.

Some artists consider how public and private spaces are gendered, offering alternatives to the status quo. Others explore the idea of place itself, addressing the movement of people across geographies, generations and even planes of existence. Several artists use digital strategies to probe topics such as environmental values, bioethics and artificial intelligence. Artists also look to the power of communities to shape identity or question the nature of time, tradition and collective memory.

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