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 it was women artists who were at the forefront.
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 approximately sixty-five works in painting, sculpture, installation, and works on paper by fifteen 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."