This will be the year of the women!

Martina Kral

To be more precise: THE year of female artists. Across all genres, from painting, performance, to sculptures, installations and stagings. From cheeky, funny, provocative to erotic, excessive to brutal and humorous. The female artists have only one thing in mind: creating art in their own way, sticking to it, formulating it, finding their own role, staying true to themselves and keep on going.

Renowned museums in Switzerland will be showing the following impressive exhibitions and retrospectives until autumn, which are worth visiting: 

 The co-founder of the almanac "Der Blaue Reiter": Gabriele Münter (Zentrum Paul Klee until 8 May). Very often, women have had a decisive influence on the history of art. As a co-founder of German Expressionism, she is being shown and honoured at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. Her entire life was spent in and with art. A life full of colour and expression. 

The painter of voluptuous, sensual, large-format blossom and flower motifs: Georgia O`Keeffe. THE North American artist who was able to transform landscape paintings and flower motifs into strong, feminine and sensual connotations. In her works, she carries us through all facets of female existence and is definitely worth a visit, for men too, to the Fondation Beyeler. (Fondation Beyeler, Basel-Riehen until 22 May). 

The femme fatale from Zurich: Manon, who became one of the first performance artists in Switzerland with her videos and environments. To mark her 80th birthday, the Fotostiftung Winterthur will be paying homage to her from 25 February and the Kunsthaus Zürich from 8 April, showing her early, powerful works. With her head shaved, sensual, strong, combative, she showed herself to the world through the media of photography and film, sometimes in latex and bandages, sometimes appearing almost fragile as another being. 

The sculptress with expansive, expressive works: Louise Bourgeois (Kunstmuseum Basel from 19 February). Probably Louise Bourgeois' best-known work is the oversized spider ("Maman"), which can be seen in London, Ottawa, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Guggenheim in Bilbao and elsewhere.  Jenny Holzer, herself an artist of subversive messages via media of an unconventional nature such as T-shirts, pants, street signs, etc., has curated the exhibition. Holzer focuses on Bourgeois' diaries, letters and psychoanalytical texts. This is the common denominator of these two highly talented female artists.    

The loud and yet silent performance artist, draughtswoman and sculptor: Yoko Ono - This room moves at the same speed as the clouds. Her performances and actions of the 1960s and 1970s, packed with lyricism and concept, will be shown at the Kunsthaus Zürich from 4 March. Her works, full of poetry and at the same time harsh criticism of socio-political issues, are still relevant today. She set no limits to her art. Techniques such as film, performance and paper come together to make a powerful statement. 

The quiet explorer who gets under your skin and moves between architecture, body and space: Heidi Bucher (Kunstmuseum Bern from 8 April / Muzeum Susch as a permanent installation) 

With the sentence "We'll meet at the Angel", it's obvious to everyone where we are: Zurich main station. That is Niki de Saint Phalle. Clear, feminist, distinct, full of emotion, floating, large, full of life, delicate. The Kunsthaus Zürich will be showing a retrospective from 2 September. The exhibition is in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt am Main.  

The stylistically versatile German-Swiss paintress from around 1900: Ottilie W. Roederstein, on view at the Städel Museum Frankfurt am Main from 20 July. Ottilie Roederstein was not the loud, proactive revolutionary, but a constant and gifted portrait painter in a genre dominated by men at the time. She stood up to her parents and to the conventions of the day. She campaigned for the common good of women and for women's studies and lived with Elisabeth Winterhalter, a doctor and Frankfurt's first midwife, until her death.