Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Review of Champagne Life at the Saatchi Gallery

Champagne Life
Saatchi Gallery
13 January – 9 March 2016

Things are changing for female artists. For women generally, too, but the art world might just be the place where this first becomes visible. Although female artists are still markedly undervalued at auction, and have been described as “the bargains of our time” by Iwan Wirth (owner of leading international gallery Hauser & Wirth), 34-year-old artist Virgile Ittah suggests that this is the carry-over from last century and that, thanks to the work of their predecessors, young female artists today stand on a much more equal platform with their male counterparts.

Last year saw a series of solo retrospectives for female artists at both Tate galleries in London – Barbara Hepworth, Sonia Delaunay and Agnes Martin – and women are increasingly taking lead roles as gallery directors, curators and collectors, changing the way that contemporary art history is being written. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Saatchi Gallery is hosting its first all-women exhibition, showcasing the work of 14 emerging international artists. The exhibition is described not as offering “an overarching vista of female artistic practice”, but rather playing “an important role in approaching issues of the glass ceiling that applies to the art world as much as to the world at large”. Whether or not this ceiling has yet been smashed remains to be seen over the next few decades, but judging by the confidence that imbues the works on display, this generation of female artists is certainly on the up.

Read the rest of this review here

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