The art world is constantly evolving, challenging preconceptions on what it means to be an artist and what exactly constitutes an artwork. Female artists are taking the lead in innovation and building an artistic landscape far more inclusive than any other in the history of art.
Creativity never stops, even during a pandemic. Art has continued to thrive since March 2020, despite the impact of lockdown on creative industries, galleries, and art shows. Artists have kept working to hone their craft, producing artworks which provide a commentary on their experiences of the pandemic and life in general.
We live in a time where artists, in particular female artists, are able to receive more opportunities for exposure than ever before. Women are stepping out from the shadow of male-dominated history, taking a leading role in the art of the here and now. They continue to shape the contemporary art landscape for the better – even with the limitations of lockdown. Taking their art from gallery to home, and from home to social media, the reach of the female artist is nothing to scoff at.
With the hopeful news that galleries and museums will reopen within the coming months, we wanted to take you through some female artists you should be keeping an eye on in 2022.
South African artist Mary Sibande has spent the last few years making waves in the contemporary art scene with her sculptural artworks. Descended from three generations of domestic workers, Sibande uses her artwork to explore issues of identity through the lens of black women in South Africa.
Sibande’s artwork largely revolves around her alter-ego, Sophie, a domestic worker based on her ancestors. Cast from Sibande’s own body, Sophie’s various sculptural forms become a visual conduit for the dreams and desires of black women in South Africa; through the increasing extravagance of Sophie’s costumes, Sibande plays on the wish for social mobility and its correlation with later generations of black women.
Sibande’s work has branched out to global exhibitions, including the group shows 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Somerset House, London, 2019) and Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present (Moody Centre for the Arts, Texas, 2020).