Skip to content


b. 1945 Washington, D.C.
Lives and works in New York, NY and Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania

Rendered in softly airbrushed tones, Betty Tompkins’s photorealist paintings of intimate sexual encounters, including exposed genitalia, penetration, and masturbation, derive from pornography. Though her series of nine “Fuck Paintings” were flagged by French customs officials for pornographic content and withheld from display in 1973, they have since received belated acknowledgment and appreciation. Tompkins carefully crops out faces or body parts to excise narrative detail, enlarging the scale to fill large expanses of wall. By emptying her paintings of signifiers of race, class, time, and circumstance, Tompkins presents erotic encounters between two (or sometimes more) powerfully consonant bodies.



2021 Betty Tompkins, Some Sex Lots of Talking, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA

Betty Tompkins, MOCO Montpellier Contemporain, Montpellier, France

2019 Talking Talking Talking, curated by Darren Flook, Freehouse, London, United Kingdom Fuck Paintings, Ects., J Hammond Projects, London, United Kimgdom

2018 Will She Ever Shut Up?, P.P.O.W, New York, NY Betty Tompkins, WAAP, Vancouver, Canada

2017 Betty Tompkins, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium Betty Tompkins, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria Virgin, P.P.O.W, New York, NY

Small, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY

Sex Works / WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories, GAVLAK, Palm Beach, FL 2016 Sex Works / WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA

Viewing Room, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY

WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories: 1000 Paintings by Betty Tompkins, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY

2015 REAL ERSATZ, Foundation University Gallery, New York, NY

2014 Art Basel Feature, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels), Basel, Switzerland 2013 Paintings and Works on Paper 1972 - 2013, GAVLAK, Palm Beach, FL

Home Alone 2, New York, NY (with Dadamanio)

Woman Words, Dinter Fine Art Online, New York, NY

2012 Fuck Paintings, Galerie Rodolph Janssen, Brussels, Belgium

2011 Sex Works, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Switzerland

2009 New Work, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY

2008 Fuck Paintings and Drawings 1973 - 2007, Lawrimore Project, Seattle, WA 2007 Sex Works, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY

2006 Fuck Paintings and Drawings, Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich, Switzerland 2005 New Paintings and Drawings, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY

2002 Fuck Paintings 1969 - 1974, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY



2021 She says: Women, Words, and Power, Virginia MOCA, Virginia Beach, VA

2020 To Cast Too Bold a Shadow, Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, New York, NY

Nasty Women, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA

Reflections, Gang Art Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2019 A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, curated by Kasia Redzisz, Museum Susch, Zernez, Switzerland

Tainted Love, Villa Arson, Nice, France

Startegic Vandalism: The Legacy of Asger Jorn’s Modification Paintings, Petzel Gallery, New York, NY

Rise, RIBORDY THETAZ, Geneva, Switzerland

Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s: Works from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND Collection, The Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic

Afflatus, 5-50 Gallery, curated by Amy Hill and Suzanne Unrein, Queens, NY

FÜR BARBARA (BIS), curated by Leo Koenig, Hall Art Foundation, Schloss Derneburg Museum, Holle, Germany

2018 Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Defacement, THE CLUB, Tokyo, Japan

Betty Tompkins & Jean-Baptise Bernadet, Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland WOMEN NOW, Austian Cultural Forum, New York, NY

The Value of Freedom, Belvedere 21, Vienna, Austria

Histórias da Sexualidade, Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil Tainted Love, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France

HARD, University Hall Gallery, Boston, MA

Declaration, Institute of Contemporary Art, Richmond, VA

2017 Für Barbara, curated by Leo Koenig, Hall Art Foundation, Dernberg, Germany Flaming June VII: Flaming Creatures, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Something Possible Everywhere: Pier 34, NYC 1983-84, 205 Hudson Gallery, New York, NY

The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men, Cheim & Read, New York, NY Smile!, Shin Gallery, New York, NY

Black Sheep Feminism, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX

2015 Sight For Sore Eyes, with Lucas Jardin, Artsy at Art Brussels, Brussels, Belgium Word by Word, curated by Francesco Bonami, Luxembourg & Dayan, London, UK Viewer Discretion...Children of
Bataille, curated by Kathleen Cullen, Stux Haller Gallery, New York, NY

Verganza (I don’t want to be friends), organized by Gea Polity, Milan, Italy Lust, HVCCA, Peeksil, New York, NY

Fertility, presented by Jane Kim, 33 Orchard, New York, NY

The Shell (Landscapes, Portaits & Shapes) a show by Eric Troncy, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France

Eureka! curated by Kendell Geers, Galerist, New York, NY

Ten Year Anniversary, GAVLAK, Los Angeles, CA and Palm Beach, FL

2014 Rear Window Treatment, Louis B. James, New York, NY

A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, NY

CORPUS, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

A Chromatic Loss, curated by Jeffrey Uslip, Bortolami Gallery, New York, NY Selections from the Sara M. & Michelle Vance Waddell Collection, Art Academy of Cincinatti, OH

2013 Independents, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen

A Few of My Favorite Things, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Skin Trade, PPOW, New York, NY

Sunsets and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY

DSM-V, The Future Moynihan Station, New York, NY

Jew York, Untitled, New York, NY

Sex Money and Power, Maison Particuliere, Brussels, Belgium

2012 In The Pink, Joe Sheftel Gallery, New York, NY
Dark Garnaal, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen; Villa - Knokke, Knokke - Heist, Belgium ff Temporary Autonomous Zone, Lisa Ruter Gallery, Vienna, Austria

Screw You, Susan Inglett Gallery, New York , NY

2011 No government No cry, a project by Kendell Geers, CIAP Actuele Kunst, Hasselt, Belgium Invitation to the Voyage, Algus Greenspon, New York, NY

Grisaille, Luxembourg and Dayan, New York, NY

2010 Lust and Vice: The Seven Deadly Sins From Dürer to Naumann, Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland Visible Vagina, Francis Naumann Gallery, New York, NY

Consider the Oyster, James Graham and Sons, New York , NY

2009 elles@centrepompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Naked! Size Matters, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

Revolver, COCO, Vienna, Austria

The Line Is A Lonely Hunter - Drawings in New Jerseyy, New Jersey,

2008 How To Cook A Wolf: Part 1, Dinter Fine Art, New York, NY

2007 La Plaissir au Dessin, Musee de Beaux Arts, Lyon, France Handsome Young Doctor, Cubitt Gallery, London, England Into Position, Baurnmarkt, Vienna, Austria

2006 Exquisite Corpse - Cadavre Exquis, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY Uncertain States of America, Serpentine Gallery, London, England and traveling

2005 La Beauté de L'Enfer, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium 2004 [Untitled/Nudes], Printed Matter, New York, NY

Nouvelles Acquisitions, Ouevres Contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France 2003 It Happened Tomorrow, Bienniale de Lyon, Lyon, France



Weir Farm National Historic Site / National Park Service, Wilton, CT Cow
Parade, New York City/Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY
Islip Art Museum, East Islip, New York, NY


Allen Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY Stamford Museum, Stamford, CT
Pennsylvania Acadamy of the Fine Arts

Back To Top