• 15 September - 15 December 2023
  • Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, 108a Boundary Road, off Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, London, NW8 0RH
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Painting of three abstracted rock shapes in blues and black, with sea and two island formations in the background.

Three Rock Forms, 1951, Oil on canvas, BGT1119

“Sheer Verve”: The Women’s International Art Club

The Women’s International Art Club (WIAC) was founded in Paris in 1898 to give female artists a platform at a time when it was difficult for them to exhibit their work and encourage networking opportunities. The inaugural exhibition, held in London’s Grafton Gallery in 1900, went on to become an annual event until the club was dissolved in 1978.

More than a century after the WIAC’s inception, Ben Uri showcases the club’s “sheer verve”, in the words of Arts Review critic Bettina Wadia (26 January 1963) with work from 22 of its collection artists including Sonia Delaunay, Dora Gordine, Clara Klinghoffer, Laura Knight, Orovida Pissarro and Ottilie Tolansky.

The Trust are delighted to lend Three Rock Forms, 1951, to the exhibition. Barns-Graham was invited to show this artwork in an WIAC exhibition in 1952 following the critical success of her Glacier Constructions exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in January of the same year.