For international Women's Day, we give you 19 of the best exhibitions by Women artists in UK galleries in 2016Mona Hatoum at Tate Modern, London, May 4 – August 21
The Beirut born, Palestinian, London-based artist Mona Hatoum gets a long-overdue retrospective at Tate Modern who will be surveying a body of work which has evolved from performance and video to major installations and sculptures. One of the most important artists working today.
© Mona Hatoum
Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern, London, July 6 – October 30
Tate Modern's major summer exhibition is an in-depth retrospective of the Modernist artist’s glowing landscapes and "feminizing" flower canvasses - the first major show of O'Keeffe's work in the UK for a generation.
© Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery, June 8 – September 8
Another oft-forgotten genius about to emerge from the shadows at Dulwich, Slade artist Winifred Knights was one of the most original, pioneering British artists of the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition will reunite all her completed paintings for the first time since their creation, including the apocalyptic modernist masterpiece The Deluge (1920).
© The estate of Winifred Knights
Georgiana Houghton’s Spirit Drawings at the Courtauld, London, June 25 – September 25
Georgiana Houghton (b. 1814) was a Spiritualist medium who, in the 1860s and 70s, produced an astonishing series of largely abstract watercolours. Detailed explanations on the back of the works reveal how she was guided by various spirits, including several Renaissance artists, as well as higher angelic beings. Bold colours, fluid forms and dense rich patterns and abstract art before it really existed.
© Victorian Spiritualists' Union Melbourne, Australia
Betty Woodman at the ICA, London, until April 10
The first solo UK presentation by Betty Woodman (b.1930) focuses on the innovative directions in her practice over the last decade, in which she combines ceramics with painting and other media. Woodman is one of the most important artists working with ceramics since the 1950s.
© Photograph: Bruno Bruchi
Laura Ford at Abbot Hall, until June 25, and Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Cumbria, March 11 - September 4
Ford’s sculptures of animals and fantastically uncanny creatures - seemingly plucked from childhood memories - sprawl across the lawns and galleries of Abbot Hall and the galleries of sister venue Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, for a welcome double show of the influential British sculptor.
© the artist / Gautier Deblonde
Winifred Nicholson, Abbott Hall Gallery, Cumbria, July 8 – October 15
Winifred Nicholson was at the forefront of Modernist painting in the 1920s and continues to be a much sought after painter. Abbott Hall explores the many paintings she made in Cumbria, where she lived for large parts of her life.
© estate of Winifred Nicholson
Maria Lassnig, Tate Liverpool, May 18 – September 18
Searing yet funny self-representational artwork was the hallmark of the enigmatic Austrian painter who died in 2014 aged 94. Another woman artist who only began to receive widespread recognition late in her career, Tate Liverpool presents the first major UK retrospective.
© Maria Lassnig Foundation
First Ladies at The Atkinson, Southport, June 4 - August 7
The Atkinson mines its permanent collection of female artists who were first at something for an exhibition celebrating women and their achievements at a time when men were the dominant force in the art world. Highlights include artworks by Dame Laura Knight and Elisabeth Frink.
© Courtesy The Atkinson
Bridget Riley, Venice and Beyond, Paintings 1967-1972, Graves Gallery, Sheffield, until June 25
The Graves explores a key period in the work of one of Britain’s most important and accomplished abstract painters, by focusing on a breakthrough moment in the development of her work: the introduction of colour.
© Courtesy Karsten Schubert, London
Janet Mendelsohn at IKON, Birmingham, until April 3
Janet Mendelsohn: Varna Road is the largest exhibition to date of photographs by the American academic and documentary filmmaker. Taken predominately in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham, the exhibition focuses in particular on a sex worker called Kathleen and provides a moving insight into a life in a community in an acute state of flux.
© Courtesy Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections, University of Birmingham.
Laura Lancaster, New Art Gallery, Walsall, until May 8
The Newcastle-based painter scours the second-hand shops and flea markets for inspiration from found photographs and The New Art Gallery Walsall brings together a selection of her works, all depicting figures and scenes from anonymous snapshots and home movies.
© Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery Gateshead/London. Photo: David Lawson.
Scottish Women Painters and Sculptors, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until June 26
Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965 is a major exhibition of works by lesser-known female artists working in Scotland during the modern art period. Forty five little-known Scottish women who trained and worked as artists are featured.
© Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections
Sara Barker, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until May 30
A major exhibition of work by the Scottish artist whose delicate sculptures embrace the freedom of the drawn line with both new and existing work that beautifully translates sketches and line drawings into almost impossibly precarious forms.
© Courtesy the artist and Fruitmarket Gallery
Elizabeth Price at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until April 10
Elizabeth Price: A Restoration sees the Turner Prize winner respond to the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museum collections with a twenty minute, two screen video that “figuratively reconstructs” the Knossos Labyrinth within the museum’s computer server. The resulting “virtual chamber” is a place where the museum's objects “digitally flow, clatter and cascade”.
Rose Wylie, Turner Contemporary, Margate, until March 31
Another woman artist who has only received recognition in later life, Rose Wylie's great narrative (and seemingly naïve) canvasses get a major exhibition across the cool white galleries of Turner Contemporary.
© Courtesy of the Union Gallery and the artist
Marie Spartali Stillman at Watts Gallery, Surrey, until June 5
The story of women in the Pre-Raphaelites is rarely one of equality, but this show of landscapes, portraits, subject paintings and photographs reminds us of the talent of one of the most admired women artists of the 19th century - and a woman who was an integral part of the Pre-Raphaelite circle of Burne-Jones and Rossetti.
Daphne Wright at the Arnolfini, Bristol, October 21 – Jan 15 2017
A major survey exhibition of work by sculptor and installation artist, Daphne Wright. Emotional Archaeology sees the gallery populated with unsettling sculptures that examine everyday experiences such as aging, parenting and our relationship with animals.
© the artist. Courtesy of Frith Street Gallery
Jessica Warboys, Tate St Ives, May 21 – October 2
New films, sculptures and large-scale paintings from an artist who uses many media in her practice. The exhibition includes a specially-commissioned work created along the Cornish coast.
© Courtesy the artist & Gaudel de Stampa, Paris
Rose Wylie at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, until May 29
Another chance to catch the bold, large scale canvasses of Rose Wylie, this time at Chapter, who are rejoicing in Wylie’s seemingly deconstructed energetic and chaotic imagery.
© Courtesy the artist and Union Gallery
- For more on International Women's Day see www.internationalwomensday.com
What do you think? Have we missed anyone out? Leave a comment below.
Want to find an exhibition near you? Explore our regional guides:
The best exhibitions to see in the East of England in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in London in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in the Midlands in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in the North in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in Scotland in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in the South West in 2016
The best exhibitions to see in Wales in 2016