Champagne Life celebrates the work of a constellation of female artists, and provides a rare and apposite moment to reflect on what it means to be a female artist working today. Drawing its title from one of the works on display (see above), Champagne Life suggests high living, prestige and affluence, qualities that have led to champagne’s appropriation into Hip-Hop culture as an indicator of success when artists transition from economically depressed ghetto to uptown highlife. Applied here to an exhibition bringing together the work of 14 emerging women artists, the irony of the title is palpable and throws into contrast the reality of many long, cold, lonely hours working in the studio with the perceived glamour of the art world.
As an exhibition, Champagne Life does not offer an overarching vista of ‘female’ artistic practice; nor does it presume to state that there is such a thing. Instead this exhibition will play an important role in approaching issues of the glass ceiling that applies to the art world as much as to the world at large.
Champagne Life features the work of Mequitta Ahuja, Alice Anderson, Marie Angeletti, Jelena Bulajic, Julia Dault, Mia Feuer, Sigrid Holmwood, Virgile Ittah, Seung Ah Paik, Maha Malluh, Suzanne McClelland, Stephanie Quayle, Soheila Sokhanvari and Julia Wachtel. Champagne Life marks the Saatchi Gallery’s 30th anniversary and pays tribute to its commitment to supporting the work of women artists early on in their careers and providing them with a platform to showcase their work. Many of these artists have gone on to become central figures in contemporary art, including Cecily Brown, Tracey Emin, Paula Rego, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, Rebecca Warren and Rachel Whiteread amongst many others.
Champagne Life showcases new and arresting work by an international group of emerging women artists and celebrates their contribution to the ongoing development of art today. The exhibition is presented in partnership with Champagne Pommery.