Until now, the story of the avant-garde has centred on white male European artists. Women have appeared only as muses, lovers and marginalised presences. Alyce Mahon’s research has redressed this balance by shining a light on the work of women artists and their central role in the avant-garde.
Mahon has worked extensively as a researcher, curator and curatorial advisor with world-leading art museums to bring about this fundamental transformation in attitudes to modern art – especially Surrealism – by including the work of women artists, which were previously neglected or ignored.
This has led to more museum exhibitions of women artists in the US, Spain and UK; the elevation of women artists in the public eye; the bringing of Surrealism to new, diverse audiences; a significant increase in the market value of women artists; and the long overdue discovery and recognition of women artists by art critics, art collectors and government officials responsible for the arts.
In 2019, she co-curated the first large-scale exhibition of Dorothea Tanning’s works for 25 years organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, in collaboration with Tate Modern.
“This just goes to show how sexist the world is that I didn’t learn about this supremely talented artist back when I was an art major some time ago. Learned all about the usual boys, but not her. Crazy.”– Viewer of TateShots: Dorothea Tanning – Pushing the Boundaries of Surrealism featuring co-curator Alyce Mahon