Of course, Champagne Life, an exhibition of all-female contemporary artists would make some people cringe: gender does not define a genre in art etc. What does it say about the current contemporary art world? Why do we need such an exhibition? Why not? I think is a worthwhile initiative – I’ll buy into it. The title of the Saatchi Gallery exhibition, Champagne Life, is taken from a work by Julia Wachter, an artist influenced by Andy Warhol since the 1980s.
Is there such a thing as inherently female art? I have asked myself this question as my attraction to works by female artists continues. Since I started collecting in late 2014, I have enquired mostly about artworks by female artists and now own six pieces, all of which are by women. While I am now conscious of my art gender “bias”, my attraction to the pieces I own was purely visual – only after enquiring did I learn that they were by female artists.
Back to Champagne Life, nothing in the ten galleries states that the works are “female art”. Some are obviously by female artists, such as those by Marie Angeletti. Others, such as those by Julia Dault, could have been made by male artists, as could have Maha Malluh’s Untitled works which are reminiscent of Suboth Gupta’s. I believe the common thread is the light-heartedness of the artworks. In my view, Saatchi and its team made an excellent selection of 14 female artists.
Several favourites emerged for me: Jelena Bulajic’s minutious human faces so detailed that they resemble landscapes; Julia Dault’s bent Plexiglas works and Mequita Ahuja’s layered fantastical canvases; as well as Korean artist Seung Ah Paik’s realistic depiction of flesh. Here’s to more all-female art exhibitions! Champagne Life runs at Saatchi Gallery until 9 March 2016.