London’s Saatchi Gallery is planning its first all-women exhibition this month as a sort of corrective to the way women artists are continually marginalized in the art world. Though Saatchi can take credit for helping leverage the careers of seminal feminist artists like Tracey Emin to the mainstream, this is the first exhibition of its kind for the gallery.
The show, which focuses on emerging artists, is called Champagne Life—its name is taken from a piece by Julia Wachtel, who will be featured—and opens on January 13, according to The Guardian. Other artists like Stephanie Quayle will showcase their work from different ages and stages in their careers.
“Though women artists are far better represented in contemporary art now, in terms of the number of women artists that are having their work exhibited and shown, there remains a glass ceiling that needs to be addressed,” said Nigel Hurst, the gallery’s chief executive.
In financial terms, the glass ceiling extends to fees. The Guardian reports that highest price ever fetched for a living woman’s work was $7.1 million for a Yayoi Kusama painting, compared to $58.4 million for a Jeff Koons sculpture. The highest price garnered for a work by a deceased female artist is $44.4 million for a Georgia O’Keeffe painting—versus that of a Francis Bacon triptych, which sold for $142.4 million.
Last month at Art Basel, the glitzy gathered to celebrate the opening of another massive all-woman show, called No Man’s Land: Women Artists From The Rubell Family Collection, which included work from Kara Walker, Barbara Kruger, Marilyn Minter and Kusama.
On the exhibit’s opening panel, artist Mickalene Thomas stated that simply creating her art is a form of activism, because of who she is as a person.
“I define my work as a feminist act and a political act because I’m black and a woman,” Thomas said, who’s known for her work that combines art-historical, political and pop-cultural references for figurative and non-figurative paintings. “You don’t necessarily have to claim that but the act of making art itself is a political and feminist act when you’re a woman.”
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Art gallery owner Bernice Steinbaum appears in her Miami gallery, via AP.