Say my name, say my name: huge exhibition aims to put Australian women artists on the map

The show at Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia spans the past 120 years and includes works by Nora Heysen, Tracey Moffatt and the Tjanpi Desert Weavers

By: Elizabeth Fortescue

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) marks a pivotal moment in its history this week when it opens a nine-month, two-phase exhibition called Know My Name, with the goal of “upending the assumption that modern and contemporary Australian art is a male-dominated narrative”.

In selecting 400 works by 150 female Australian artists, spanning the period from 1900 to the present day, the flagship Canberra institution joins a global effort by museums to elevate women to their rightful place in art history and in public collections. “I think you can have both gender balance and excellence in the 21st century, and anyone who argues against that isn’t really being serious,” says the NGA director Nick Mitzevich.

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