Great news for better acknowledgement of women in art. Regular readers may remember we’ve been banging on about the appalling underrepresentation of women in art for some years now. Well, The Saatchi Gallery’s first exhibition of the year is Champagne Life, which opens today and is the gallery’s first all women show in its 30 year history. There will be 14 contemporary artists work represented, from all around the globe and I can’t wait to see it.
The art on show looks to be inspiring and thought provoking. From Alice Anderson’s beautiful copper thread bobbin (above), to Julena Bulajic and her ‘kissing distance’ scaled paintings (below), which are made from marble dust and charcoal. Bulajic’s beautifully detailed portraits of older women she see’s in the street look so soft you want to stroke them.
I am really keen to see 233 Burnt Pots, by Saudi Arabian artist Maha Malluh, since it vaguely ties into my own current thinking on having ‘too much stuff’. Her work looks at consumerism and its effect on her country, all the 233 pots were obtained from junk shops and flea markets. discarded by a society that once valued them.
I’m also keen to see Sueng Ah Paik’s raw canvases and their depiction of epanses of life-worn flesh, cracked heels, scrubby nipples and all.
The Saatchi Gallery has a good rep on championing women artists, it nurtured Tracey Emin (who is also in the show) but it claims (duh) that there is still a long way to go before women are given the credibility of men in art. The Guardian states in its review of the show “The highest price paid at auction for a work by a living female artist is $7.1m (£4.85m) for a Yayoi Kusama painting; the highest male equivalent is $58.4m for a sculpture by Jeff Koons”. The numbers tell the story very clearly.
Interestingly, over in Miami, Art Basel week launched in December with a much talked about all women’s show No Man’s Land and we’ve got The Guerilla Girls coming up at The Whitechapel Gallery in March. Watch out also for Georgia O”Keeffe at Tate Modern. Last January/ February we had older models causing a stir in fashion, this year we’ve got women, many of which are established older artists, causing a (much needed) stir in art. It’s slow, but we’re definitely getting somewhere.
Champagne Life opens tomorrow, 13th Jan and continues to the 6th March.