Peggy Guggenheim’s notorious 31 Women show, which opened in 1943, still goes down in history as one of the most iconic exhibitions of all time.
After her good friend Marcel Duchamp suggested she put on an exhibition of only female artists, Guggenheim gathered practitioners as varied as Gypsy Rose Lee, Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim and Louise Nevelson, and put on a once-in-a-lifetime show.
Now, over 74 years later, hosting an all-female exhibition isn’t anywhere near as controversial, but in celebration of Guggenheim’s pioneering spirit, Bethnal Green’s Breese Little is putting on its own sequel, also called 31 Women.
The new show features work from successive generations of artists from the 1940s to today, and with a nod to Guggenheim’s original, it will take cues from the transitional moment when Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism co-existed in 1940s New York.
With two thematic threads weaving through the work (the first embracing the psychological, instinctual and erotic and the second exploring the multiple modes of abstract production), the show brings together artists such as Eileen Agar, Laura Aldridge, Cornelia Baltes, Angela de la Cruz, Celia Hempton, Bridget Riley and many more.
31 Women, 2 June – 29 July @ Breese Little, London breeselittle.com