Art collectors Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg will present their collection publicly for the first time, with a major exhibition by some of the most significant women artists from the past eight decades, through their Shah Garg Foundation.
Making Their Mark will showcase works by more than 70 women artists, including Cecily Brown, Judy Chicago, Etel Adnan, Joan Mitchell, Jenny Holzer and Simone Leigh. The show will be free and open to the public at 548 West 22nd Street in New York (the former home of Dia Chelsea), from 2 November 2023 through 27 January 2024. From there, it will travel to California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in September 2024, then to the Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis in September 2025.
“Women are still significantly underrepresented in museum collections and on exhibition rosters, and many women of incredible achievement have not been given the scholarly and public attention they so richly deserve,” Shah said in a statement, adding that the exhibition aims to make “a visually compelling case for a rigorous expansion of the art canon by showcasing works by brilliant and prodigious artists who happen to be women”.
The exhibition will be curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art, who also curated the 2022 Venice Biennale.
“One of the most striking aspects of the Shah Garg Collection is that it captures a period in time through core artists that are defining this moment, but also traces a network of influences and inspiration,” Alemani said in a statement. The exhibition features work by contemporary women alongside their predecessors who, in many ways, “anticipated the current discussions around representation, identity and power” in the art world today, she adds.
A native of Ahmedabad, India, Shah moved to California in 1991 to study computer science and worked for more than a decade in the executive suites of major tech companies like Oracle, Netscape and Yahoo. After leaving Silicon Valley in 2008, she began developing an art collection with Garg, her husband and a tech entrepreneur. They landed on a vision for the collection’s emphasis on women artists in 2014. Since 2011, Shah and Garg have amassed a groundbreaking collection of nearly 300 pieces that they routinely lend to museums—including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s painting Escarpment (1987), which was included at the Whitney Museum of American Art this year during the artist’s retrospective. Marking Their Mark follows the May 2023 publication of a book by the same name that explores the artists and works included in the Shah Garg Collection.
Shah will speak on a panel during live programming at this month’s Armory Show in New York. She will discuss the importance of building a conscious body of work with a positive impact with fellow collectors like Sarah Arison and George Wells.