Manchester Art Gallery Adds New Female Self-Portraits To Reduce Gender Gap | Arts

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Manchester Art Gallery Adds New Female Self-Portraits To Reduce Gender Gap | Arts


The Manchester Art Gallery is well known for its historical collections of international contemporary art that have always brought new perspectives and encouraged debates.  Particularly in this case, the choice to add new female self-portraits to reduce gender differences in the art field has focused attention on an important topic. Indeed, less than 10% of the permanent collections hosted were produced by women.


The initiative was born from the idea of the philanthropist and art collector Valeria Napoleone that collects only art from women, to highlight a still significant lack of representation of female artists through history.


For the Manchester Art Gallery she chose to donate two artworks by Berni Searle, a Cape Town-based visual artist: Untitled (Red) and In wake. She chose those paintings because “illuminate themes of gender and identity but also, significantly, South Africa’s anguished colonial past”.


Furthermore, the Contemporary Art Society has also joined this initiative: it is conducting a project with Napoleone known as VNXXCAS, that consist of giving every year a significant work of a living female artist to a museum in the United Kingdom.


The director of the Contemporary Art Society, Caroline Douglas expressed her pride in this idea, stating:“they will, without doubt, extend the discourse around representation and identity through their integration into the permanent collection”.



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