Art Fix Friday: October 16, 2015

National Geographic poses the question, “Were the first artists mostly women?” New research on handprints in early cave paintings suggests women may be the artists responsible for ancient cave paintings.

Iconography in early paintings in France and Spain showcase game animals, which lead many researchers to believe the artists were male hunters. However, women would have been equally concerned with successful hunts in these hunter-gatherer societies. Studies found that women’s ring and index fingers tend to be similar lengths, whereas men’s ring fingers tend to be longer. Three quarters of hand stencils in cave art were left by women.

Front-Page Femmes

Influential German photographer Hilla Becher died at the age of 81.

Frieze London, one of the world’s prominent contemporary art fairs, opened on Wednesday. Elle UK showcases 10 of the cutting-edge women artists at this year’s exhibition.

Self-portraits by modern Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil, deemed “national treasures,” are selling for top prices at auctions.

Aline Smithson, a former fashion editor for Vogue Patterns and Vogue Knitting, found her calling in photography.  Smithson’s first book, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography, examines two decades of portraiture.

Kate Gilmore wins a $200,000 juried ArtPrize competition.

Juxtapoz highlights portraits of North Korean women in works by Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc.

ArtInfo reflects on six embroidered works recently on view in Teresa Margolles: We Have a Common Thread at the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Famed feminist advocate and organizer Gloria Steinem releases her latest book, My Life on the Road.

The Huffington Post shares 15 books by women to read this fall, including works by Margaret Atwood, Lauren Groff, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.

A new album by American folk singer-songwriter Iris Dement contributes to a surge of interest in 20th-century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova.

Bustle highlights 13 songs by women artists for their fall playlist.

The Walking Dead actress Danai Gurira discusses the lack of African women’s perspectives in the arts. Gurira’s off-Broadway play, Eclipsed, stars Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks wins $300,000 Gish Prize for “highly accomplished artists…who have pushed the boundaries of their art forms, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation.”

In a New York Times article, author and filmmaker Miranda July interviews pop star Rihanna.

Shows We Want to See

Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen brings together works by two American artists who bonded over their “insider-outsider status in the New York art scene” of the 1950s.

New York gallery exhibitions of works by Sarah Sze, Julia Bland, Martine Syms, Anna K.E., and Andrea McGlinty capture the attention of ArtInfo.

Sarah Cain: The Imaginary Architecture of Love features one painting spanning the walls and floors of the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.