Upcoming Exhibitions

Mildred Thompson, Magnetic Fields, 1991; Courtesy of the Mildred Thompson Estate, Atlanta, Georgia
From the upcoming exhibition, “Magnetic Fields”

Learn about exhibitions coming to NMWA soon!


OCT 13 2017–JAN 21 2018

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today

NMWA’s 30th-anniversary celebration continues with Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, the first U.S. exhibition to explore the formal and historical dialogue on abstraction among African American women artists. Featuring work by more than 20 women, including progenitors like Mavis Pusey and contemporary artists such as Shinique Smith, Magnetic Fields is intergenerational in scope and highlights the longstanding presence of black women artists within the field of abstraction in America. From the brilliant colors and energetic brushwork of Alma Woodsey Thomas’s paintings to shredded tire sculptures by Chakaia Booker, works featured in this exhibition testify to the enduring ability of abstraction to convey both personal iconography and universal themes. This landmark project underscores the diversity of abstract art, which lies in its material construction as well as in its practitioners.

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today is organized by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The presentation of Magnetic Fields at NMWA is made possible through the generous support of Marcia and Frank Carlucci, FedEx, the Sue J. Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund, Stephanie Sale, Mahinder and Sharad Tak, and the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. Additional support is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of the museum’s 30th Anniversary.



NOV 10 2017–JAN 05 2018

El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project

Since 1978, Mexico City-based artist Mónica Mayer has been implementing El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project in various museums and communities throughout Mexico, South America, and the U.S., asking women from different classes, ages, and professions to respond to the statement: “As a woman, what I dislike most about my city is…” Participants write their responses on small pink ballots, which are then hung on a clothesline. A traditionally feminine form, the clothesline doubles as a useful tool to communicate with other women about violence against women—from sexual harassment, to domestic violence, and trafficking. Working with artists, activists, and organizations in the D.C. area, Mayer will facilitate one of her participatory works in September. The installation in the museum’s Teresa Lozano Long Gallery in November will document the project’s results, using content created through community outreach, and including documentation from past iterations. 


MAR 09–MAY 28 2018

Women House

Questions about a woman’s “place” resonate in our culture, and conventional ideas about the house as a feminine space persist. This new exhibition forms a sequel to the famous project called “Womanhouse,” developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. Similar to their artistic foremothers in the 1970s, the global artists in Women House recast conventional ideas about the home through provocative photographs, videos, sculptures, and room-like installations built with materials ranging from felt to rubber bands. With themes ranging from “Desperate Housewife” to “Dollhouse,” Women House emphasizes the plurality of artists’ views on the home.

Women House is organized by La Monnaie de Paris. Its presentation at NMWA is made possible by GRoW @ Annenberg and Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional support provided by the Sue J.Henry and Carter G. Phillips Exhibition Fund; Belinda de Gaudemar; and American Airlines, the official airline of the museum’s 30th Anniversary.


JAN 19–JUL 08 2018

Hung Liu In Print

Adapting figures from historical Chinese photographs, Hung Liu (b. 1948) reimagines antique depictions of laborers, refugees, and prostitutes. After toiling for four years in rice and wheat fields as part of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, Liu trained as a painter in her native China and later California, where she lives and works today. To create her works on paper, she blends an array of printing and collage techniques, developing highly textured surfaces, veils of color, and screens of drip marks that transform the figures in each composition. Recently, Liu has begun to explore historical American subjects, particularly families caught in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a context of struggle and migration that resonates for the artist. This focus exhibition continues NMWA’s exploration of innovations in printmaking, a medium in which women have worked since at least the sixteenth century. 

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National Museum of Women in the Arts