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  • Source: ARTSY
  • Author: EDITORS
  • Date: MARCH 01, 2020
  • Format: DIGITAL

The Women Artists Who Deserve Our Attention

According to 9 Leading Artists, Diana Al-Hadid's Selections

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating female-identifying and non-binary artists who deserve greater recognition. And who better to shine the spotlight on them than some of the art world’s leading women artists? Below, nine established artists—Shirin Neshat, Tara Donovan, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Anicka Yi, Rachel Rose, Diana Al-Hadid, Arlene Shechet, Senga Nengudi, and Laurie Simmons—tell us about the emerging and underrepresented talents who inspire them.

Diana Al-Hadid recognizes Iva Gueorguieva, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, and Mequitta Ahuja.

Through looming sculptures, paintings, installations, and works on paper, Diana Al-Hadid brings the narratives of historic civilizations into contemporary settings. Born in Syria and based in Brooklyn, Al-Hadid has drawn inspiration from the traditions of  Old Master paintings and Islamic art. She has recently been featured in solo shows at the Frist Art Museum and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Iva Gueorguieva, Dona in the Garden, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Iva Gueorguieva
b. 1974, Sofia, Bulgaria
Lives and works in Los Angeles

“I first learned of Iva Gueorguieva’s work in 2009, and have loved watching her tremendous evolution over the past decade. She works intuitively, working on the floor to cut, glue, dye, and paint muslin scraps into an ethereal hanging tapestry of color and line. She lets the painting hang free of its frame; the painting reads like a skin or screen, and shifts our attention to what is happening not just within the work, but the space surrounding it. She thinks of the tapestries like female bodies, ripped by birth, stretched, bruised, but still holding themselves up, like a banner proudly asserting itself in spite of the structures that have failed to truly support its weight.”

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Lead on through the Night, 2013. Courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary, London.

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
b. 1980, Mochudi, Botswana
Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa

“I’ve been an admirer of Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s beautiful and ambitious works since I met her in 2007. She makes drawings, animations, and installations that feature moments of an invented mythology in which alternate selves time-travel in the future and past. Her works bring science, history, geology, cosmology, and genealogy together in these imagined universes. I’m obsessed with her landscapes in which figures move through mountains and other wild geometries in vivid, electrified tapestries. Her first monograph is forthcoming and she is speaking at the Phillips Collection in March for its ‘Conversations with Artists’ series.”

Mequitta Ahuja, Sales Slip, 2017. Courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary, London.

Mequitta Ahuja
b. 1976, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lives and works in Baltimore, MD

“I have been in awe of Mequitta Ahuja’s paintings since I had the pleasure of sharing a residency with her in Siena in 2014. Her mission is to change the expectation of the self-portrait, in particular of women or people of color, who are expected to mine their personal biographies as case studies in our social condition. She merges past and present ideas of self-portraiture, and in doing so, simultaneously destabilizes the genre’s old and current conventions. Her radically personal work shows recent scenes of her pregnancy and motherhood, and intimate views into her studio as she paints the very painting we are seeing. Her work is smart, funny, beautiful, and challenging all at once. Her work is now on view at the Phillips Collection, the Flint Institute of Arts, and the Blanton Museum of Art.”