Women at War gathers the works of twelve Ukrainian artists who employ a variety of media to address the Russian war against Ukraine, from its beginning in 2014 to the full-scale invasion in February 2022, through the lens of gendered experience. The exhibition explores the struggle for Ukrainian independence and women’s equality against the backdrop of the war and its impact on both the national and individual psyche while giving voice to women as narrators of history and agents of change. Curated by Monika Fabijanska, Women at War premiered at Fridman Gallery, New York, in the summer of 2022, and continues its North American tour through 2025.(1) I recently spoke with Fabijanska, known for her critically acclaimed exhibitions focusing on women and women’s art, about the challenges of organizing an exhibition about war alongside the show’s many themes of loss and resiliency, national identity, and feminism.
Throughout her prodigious work, Anne Wilson employs human hair and found cloth (damask fabrics, table linens, family heirlooms, remnants of clothing), as stand-ins for the body and as fragments of memory imbued with their own personal and collective histories.
Thread Lines, with its impressive roster of artists, offered a first take on the relationship between fiber art and drawing.
Hardline feminism and cottage industry craft, in particular textiles, are employed or rather deployed throughout the works on view, installed en masse to emulate a makeshift agora or meeting space that exists in a not-so-distant future.