Press Room

Biennial contemporary art exhibition, Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015, on view at NMWA June 5–Sept. 13, 2015

Apr 24 2015

This exhibition features 13 artists actively redefining the relationship between women, art and nature

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015, the fourth installment of NMWA’s biennial Women to Watch exhibition series. On view June 5–Sept. 13, 2015, this exhibition explores the relationships between women, art and nature, examining contemporary women artists’ complex views and inventive treatments related to the theme of nature. Through a diverse array of mediums, including photography, drawing, sculpture and video, the featured artists depict fragile ecosystems, otherworldly landscapes and creatures both real and imagined.

This series presents emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees. Committees participating in Women to Watch 2015 worked with curators in their respective regions to create shortlists of artists working with the subject of nature. From this group, NMWA curators selected 13 artists, one representing each of the participating committees.

“The connection between women and nature has a long history, one that is fraught with gendered stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions,” said NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling. “The contemporary artists selected for the 2015 installment of Women to Watch turn this archaic paradigm upside-down.”

Historically, women artists were encouraged to take the natural world as their subject because still lifes and portraiture seemed to require merely the power of observation, in contrast to history and religious painting, which required invention and imagination.

“The artists highlighted in Organic Matters build upon and expand the pre-existing conceptualizations of women’s relationship with nature by actively investigating the natural world—to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect,” said NMWA Associate Curator Virginia Treanor. “Collectively, their work addresses modern society’s complex relationship with the environment, ranging from concern for its future to fear of its power.”

download the full press release

National Museum of Women in the Arts