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Celebrating Women This Month and All Year

Birgit Jürgenssen, Ich möchte hier raus! (I Want to Get Out of Here!), 1976/2006; Black-and-white photograph, 22 7/8 x 18 7/8 in.; Estate of Birgit Jürgenssen, Courtesy of Galerie Hubert Winter, Vi- enna; © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Bildrecht, Vienna

It might be Women's History Month, but the Cultural Services of the French Embassy supports programming that presents important female voices year round. This year, more than ever, women and women's issues will be at the heart of our offerings, from DC to LA, and across all disciplines. 

2018’s focus on females kicked off with the opening of the French Embassy-supported Women House exhibition at Washington D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts, on now through May 28. Recasting conventional ideas about women and emphasizing the plurality of women’s views on the home, the exhibition features the work of 36 international artists, including some of the most important female artists of the 20th and 21st century, such as Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman, and Francesca Woodman.

Laure Tixier, Plaid Houses (Maquettes): Blue Japan House, Blue Art Deco House, Red Deconstructiv- ist House, White Hut, Acid Green Dome House, Brown Usha Hut, Pink Tower, Turquoise Blue Colonial House (Barbados), Orange Breton House, 2005–11; Wool, felt,

Curated by Camille Morineau and Lucia Pesapane, the Women House exhibition was last displayed at the Monnaie de Paris, and travelled to DC with Morineau, director of exhibitions and collections at La Monnaie.

No stranger to curating art exhibitions that highlight women, Morineau also presented the hugely successful elles@centrepompidou at Paris' Centre Pompidou in 2009. That exhibition featured 300 works from the museum's permanent collection by 150 female artists for the first all-female exhibition of this scale in France.

In 2017, Morineau, who is also chairwoman and co-founder of the non-profit Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE), was invited speak at Festival Albertine, curated by activist and feminist Gloria Steinem.

Miriam Schapiro, Dollhouse, 1972; Wood and mixed media, 79 3/4 x 82 x 8 1/2 in.; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Gene Davis Memorial Fund

Both the Festival, and the Women House exhibition, supported by an Étant Données contemporary art grant funded by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy’s nonprofit partner, FACE Foundation, reflect a strong emphasis on women artists in the Cultural Services’ programming of late.   

Throughout 2018, the Cultural Services will maintain a focus on women and highlight female artists and thinkers through its existing educational and cultural programs. In our current sociopolitical context, as issues of gender rights and representation become increasingly central, it is more necessary than ever to explore the full diversity of women’s voices and self-expression.

Currently, through its Oui Design program, the Cultural Services is supporting Akari Unfolded: A Collection by YMER&MALTA, an exhibition on the iconic Akari lamp, and the first US exhibition of YMER&MALTA, a French design studio foun­ded and led by Valérie Maltaverne. Oui Design will also feature exhibitions by pioneering French female designers at WantedDesign in May 2018, during NYCxDesign.

Installation view, ​Akari Unfolded: A Collection by YMER&MALTA. YMER&MALTA / Benjamin Graindorge, ​edaLight​. Paper, metal, concrete, LED. YMER&MALTA / Sylvain Rieu Piquet, ​Galet​. Resin, linen fiber, LED.

Support will be given to women choreographers, directors, musicians, and performers, enabling the Cultural Services to attract and promote the most compelling female voices in today’s theater, jazz and contemporary music scenes.

Additional exhibitions featuring female artists during Women’s Month include: Kapwani Kiwanga at Frieze New York 2018; Baya: Woman of Algiers, featuring work by Baya Mahieddine, at Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York; Animal Spring featuring work by Yto Barrada and Julie Klear, part of Tilt Kids Festival 2018, New York; and Stories of Almost Everyone, featuring work by Isabelle Cornaro, Latifa Echakhch, and Kapwani Kiwanga, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Plus, learn about the work of this year’s Étant Données grantees, many of whom are women.

Baya, Femme et enfant en bleu (Woman and child in blue), 1947. Gouache on board, 22 3⁄4 x 17 7⁄8 in. (57.8 x 45.4 cm). Collection of Isabelle Maeght, Paris.

Grants will also be reserved to support the publication of works written and translated by women and to support collaborative research between female scholars in France and the US. Details of these projects will be published on our website throughout the year.

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