First Look: Now You See Me

Launch Slideshow

NOW YOU SEE ME, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by nine of the most original and influential female artists of the 20th century, is now on view at Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery in New York. Spanning more than 100 years of creative output on four continents, the exhibition explores the aesthetic and ideological kinship of Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Hepworth, Tamara de Lempicka, Joan Mitchell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mira Schendel and Tsuruko Yamazaki. In a variety of innovative ways and with a distinctive vision, each of these artists locates herself in the landscape, her own shapes and contours becoming part of a topographical timelessness that links each to her environment and ultimately, to each other.  

New York | Through 5 March

First Look: Now You See Me

  • Joan Mitchell, Red Tree, 1976.
    Rooted in her observations of the natural landscape, Joan Mitchell’s Red Tree, 1976 comes from a series of abstracted tree formations that the artist explored throughout her career. In this monumental oil on canvas, branches and foliage become expressionistic brushstrokes, pushing the boundaries of gestural abstraction.

  • Lynda Benglis (b. 1941)
    Portrait of sculptor Lynda Benglis, East Hampton, New York, 1992. (Photo by Chris Felver/Getty Images)

  • Lynda Benglis, Eat Meat, 1969-1975.
    In Eat Meat, Lynda Benglis captures the simultaneous permanence and fluidity of aluminum in a sculptural form. Benglis examines the duality of her material, highlighting the mercurial nature of metal and its natural ability to be reimagined.

  • Lynda Benglis, D’Arrest, 2009.
    “My work is an expression of space. What is the experience of moving? Is it pictorial? Is it an object? Is it a feeling? It all comes from my body.” – Lynda Benglis, 2014

  • Barbara Hepworth, Three Forms on an Island, 1965.
    While Barbara Hepworth’s earliest works utilized organic materials such as wood and stone, she focused increasingly on working in metal – particularly bronze – during the 1940s and 1950. Beginning in 1963, however, she began a series of slate sculptures that signified a return to some of her earliest creative concerns. Hepworth acquired much of her materials for these works from the Delabole quarry near her home in Cornwall.

  • Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010)
    Close-up of French-born American sculptor Louise Bourgeois as she poses with her 'Confrontation' installation at the Hamilton Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York, New York, September 22, 1978. The piece formed the stage for an interactive performance art piece entitled 'A Fashion Show of Body Parts' where audience members sat in the boxes at the sides and then, each in turn, walked around the center peice in specially created latex costumes. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images).

  • Louise Bourgeois, Woman with Packages, 1949.
    "I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands" – Louise Bourgeois

  • Louise Bourgeois, Femme, 1960.
    "For me, sculpture is the body. My body is my sculpture." – Louise Bourgeois

  • Tamara de Lempicka (1898–1980)
    Baroness Wields a Brush. An artist, not an actress, is dramatic-looking Tamara de Lempicka, continental painter, who in private life is the Baroness de Kuffner. A comprehensive exhibit of her work opened recently at the Julien Levy Galleries in New York. March 21, 1941.

  • Tamara de Lempicka, La belle Rafaëla en vert, 1927.
    Tamara de Lempicka moved to Paris in 1918 and spent the rest of her life cultivating a glamorous international persona. Although loosely tied to the geometric aesthetic of Cubism and the proportionality of neo-Classicism, Lempicka’s painting, characterized by its razor-sharp draughtsmanship, theatrical lighting and sensual modeling, was unlike that of any artist of her day. Her striking depictions of the female figure have come to personify the age of Art Deco.

  • Tamara de Lempicka, Ville des rochers I, circa 1947.
    “I am my work and my work is me.” – Tamara de Lempicka

  • Georgia O'Keeffe (1887–1986)
    Artist Georgia O'Keeffe stands next to her painting Horse Skull with White Rose at an exhibit of her work titled Life and Death.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, Red Canna, 1924.
    “Everyone has many associations with a flower–the idea of flowers….Still–in a way–nobody sees a flower–really–it is so small…SO I said to myself–I’ll paint what I see–what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into take time to look at it–I will make busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, 1939

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, Brown and Tan Leaves, 1928.
    From 1918 until the early 1930s, Georgia O’Keeffe spent several months of the year at her husband Alfred Stieglitz’s family estate on Lake George in upstate New York. She derived great inspiration from the natural beauty of this bucolic place, and mined the landscape for many of her now most iconic motifs.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, Cross with Red Sky, 1929.
    “For me, painting the crosses was a way of painting the country.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, 1976

  • Mira Schendel, Sem Titulo (XII), 1985-1986.
    "I think that we can never escape this aspect of perception and corporeality. And that is because, in whatever kind of art, even the most abstract, or in architecture, we always have this second category of corporeality that will engage the disposition of each person’s body, isn’t that right?" – Mira Schendel

  • Tsuruko Yamazaki, Work, 1957-2009.
    Tsuruko Yamazaki, a central female member of Japan’s Gutai Art Association, merges the realms of painting and sculpture in her Work, 1957–2009. Throughout her career, Yamazaki has redefined the relationship between art, body and space. In Work, Yamazaki confronts the physical structure of the traditional pictorial plane through the interplay of light and tin. 


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