ANDOVER — “Women and Abstraction, 1741–Now,” on exhibit at Addison Gallery of American Art, will open Saturday, Jan. 28, and will show that the female arts helped shape the concept of abstractionism in art and propelled the movement.

Museum-goers would be mistaken to think that that school of art, that movement, was the domain of heavy-hitters like Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. “Women and Abstraction, 1941-Now, “ explores how female artists have deployed the language of abstraction to create works across a wide variety of media — including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, ceramics, textiles — from the 18th century to today.

Drawn almost entirely from the Addison Gallery of American Art’s permanent collection and the collection of the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology at Phillips Academy, the exhibit will present a diverse range of works by artists both widely known, lesser known, and virtually unknown.

The diverse group of objects including baskets, ceramics, beadwork, and textiles, made by both named and unidentified Indigenous makers will be incorporated into the exhibition. The artworks will offer insight into each maker’s culturally specific engagement with the core, universal formal characteristics of abstraction—color, line, form, shape and texture.

The juxtapositions of displays will connect seemingly disparate objects in ways that transcend medium and time. The exhibition, which runs through July 31, aims to expand and promote a more nuanced understanding of American abstraction while challenging notion of what is and what is not abstraction.

The Addison Gallery of American Art, 3 Chapel Ave., on the Andover campus of Phillips Academy open, free to the public, Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m. For more information or to plan a visit, go to

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