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Terrell James, The Game

On View Now

Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art

February 07, 2020–September 06, 2020

Cowden Gallery

Terrell James, American, born 1955, The Game, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 66 x 66 in. San Antonio Museum of Art Purchased with The Brown Foundation Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund, 2018.3. Photography by Peggy Tenison.


Texas has been well known for its representational and figurative art—think Julian Onderdonk bluebonnets—since at least the nineteenth century. But by the mid-twentieth, parallel with innovations outside the region, several artists began a rigorous exploration of abstraction and non-objectivity—and women artists made significant contributions to the development of abstraction in America.

Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art explores this untold story. The first major survey to focus on Texas women working primarily in the mode of abstraction, the exhibition will include ninety-five works in painting, sculpture, installation, and works on paper by seventeen artists from different generations—among them Dorothy Antoinette “Toni" LaSelle (1901-2002), Dorothy Hood (1919-2000), Susie Rosmarin (born 1950), Terrell James (born 1955), Margo Sawyer (born 1958), Sara Cardona (born 1971, Mexico City), and Liz Trosper (born 1983).

"No matter the media, materials, or processes each artist uses, she brings inventiveness, risk-taking, and experimentation to her practice," said Suzanne Weaver, The Brown Foundation Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and curator of the exhibition. “Over careers of many decades, each has challenged approaches to abstraction—organic and gestural or inorganic and geometric—to make work that is continually fresh."

Many of the artists in Texas Women have enriching relationships as teachers, mentors, and close friends. For example, James was a student of Hood's at the Museum School associated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “This committed group of women artists has created a rich environment in which all artists can feel free to experiment, innovate, and thrive," said Weaver. "In turn, they've helped ensure that Texas is one of the most important artistic centers in the country."


Learn more about the exhibition with the catalogue.

Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art is generously funded by a Host Committee and by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992, The Whitacre Family Foundation, The Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts, The Summerlee Foundation, The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Laura and Walter Elcock, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, and Deedie Potter Rose. 
  
Thank you to the Host Committee of the following Texas women business owners and leaders for generously supporting this exhibition: Jane Macon and Rosemary Kowalski, Honorary Chairs; Jane Macon—The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation; Rose Mary Slagle—PlainsCapital Bank; Paula Gold-Williams—CPS Energy; Stephanie O’Rourke—Cokinos Young; Mary Parker—Parker Foundation; Fran Yanity—Noisy Trumpet/The PM Group; Phyllis Browning—Phyllis Browning Company; Helen Kleberg Groves—Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation; Kay Harig—Office Source, LTD; Cecilia Herrera—Retired Consul General, U.S. Department of State; Marilou Moursund—Crossvault Capital Management; Atlee Phillips—Heritage Auctions.

Exhibition Gallery

Dorothy Hood

Dorothy Hood, American 1919-2000, Flying in Outer Space, 1974, Oil in Canvas, Purchased with funds provided by The Brown Foundation, Mrs. George Brown and Mr. and Mrs. Meredith Long, 76.172. 

Terrell James, The Game

Terrell James, American, born 1955, The Game, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 66 x 66 in. San Antonio Museum of Art Purchased with The Brown Foundation Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund, 2018.3. Photography by Peggy Tenison.

Dorothy Antoinette “Toni” LaSelle (American, 1901–2002), Climate of the Heart #7

Dorothy Antoinette “Toni” LaSelle (American, 1901–2002), Climate of the Heart #7, 1956, Oil on canvas, 48 x 34 in., Courtesy the Dorothy Antoinette LaSelle Foundation and Inman Gallery, Photography by Michael O’Brien

Liz Trosper (American, born 1983), toothy zip (neon:ochre)

Liz Trosper (American, born 1983), toothy zip (neon:ochre), 2019, UV inkjet print on canvas, 102 x 74 in., Courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery, Photography by Liz Trosper    

Linnea Glatt (American, born 1949), Meet

Linnea Glatt (American, born 1949), Meet, 2017, Fabric on paper, 65 x 42 in., Courtesy the artist and Barry Whistler Gallery, Photography by Kevin Todora Photography

Liz Ward (American, born 1959), Ghosts of the Old Mississippi: Dismal Swamp/Northern Lights

Liz Ward (American, born 1959), Ghosts of the Old Mississippi: Dismal Swamp/Northern Lights, 2015, Watercolor, gesso, silverpoint, pastel, and collage on paper, 72 x 32 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Moody Gallery, Houston, TX, Photography by Zotograph

Marcelyn McNeil (American, born 1965), Ramp Painting #1

Marcelyn McNeil (American, born 1965), Ramp Painting #1, 2018, Oil on canvas, 95 x 44 (bottom)/38 (top) in., Courtesy of the artist and Conduit Gallery, Photography by Emily Loving

Catherine Lee (American, born 1950), Chocolate Cadmium (Quanta #21)

Catherine Lee (American, born 1950), Chocolate Cadmium (Quanta #21), 2012, Oil on canvas, 54 x 54 in., Courtesy of the artist

Sara Cardona (American, born Mexico, 1971), Circular Thinking

Sara Cardona (American, born Mexico, 1971), Circular Thinking, 2019, Digital print on, aluminum dibond, 72 x 51 1/2 in. Courtesy the artist

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