Reframed: The Woman in the Window


I recently spent an afternoon in the Dulwich Picture Gallery, I generally avoid travelling into South London because the journey never fails to be a complete nightmare. To get to the gallery, I had to get the district line from my home in East London, then the Jubilee to Canada Water, the overground to Peckham and finally the National Rail (which was over a 20 minute wait) so by the time I arrived in Dulwich I was quite grumpy. However, the walk from the station to the gallery was so charming with such a variety of independent shops to look into that I quickly began to enjoy myself.

Dulwich Picture Gallery is the oldest public Art gallery in the world and although it is small, it holds a surprising amount of treasures. The gallery is such a bright and airy space that one could spend hours in there looking at the Art, however the wooden benches and stern gallery staff make it clear they don’t want people to get too comfortable.

I went to see Reframed: The Woman in the Window which was absolutely brilliant.

Featuring Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, David Hockney, Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rachel Whiteread and more, Reframed places over 50 works by great artists side by side, from ancient worlds to lockdown living rooms.” 

Two noblewomen at a window

Jaipur India

c 1800 gouache with gold on paper

Woman Reading a Possession Order

Tom Hunter

1997 dye destruction paper

I love the lighting of this photograph, Hunter was inspired by a painting by the Old Master, Vermeer, Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window c 1657-59

La Femme à la Fenêtre (Woman at the Window)

Pablo Picasso

Like many brilliant artists, Pablo Picasso was a pig of man, this is a painting of his lover and muse Françoise Gilot standing with her hands up against the window pane. If you knows the years of abuse this woman went through you’d understand why she’s taking this pose, this was painted in the last few months of their ten year affair.


Isa Genzhen

1990 concrete, steel

This piece bridges the two separate sides of the exhibition and is the first piece by a woman. The way the light was shining in around the raw concrete was really beautiful. Looking at this piece I put myself in the position of the woman in the window. Alternatively you could imagine Genzen sculpting this piece as the woman in the window.

Role Exchange

Marina Abramović

This is a performance piece by Marina Abramović, she went to the red light district in Amsterdam and met a woman who had been working as a sex worker there for 10 years, at this point Marina had been an Artist for 10 years so she suggested that for a few hours she and the woman swap places. The woman replaces Marina at her Art opening at the De Appel Gallery in Amsterdam and Marina sits in the window of the red light district.

“We both take full responsibility for our roles.”

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