5 New Female Contemporary Artists to Know

Today we are lucky to have a rich picking of female artists to be inspired by and to look up to. Take Frida Kahlo with her vivid, surreal paintings, or Yayoi Kasuma with her bright polka dots, or Cindy Sherman and her chameleon like self-portraits… and these are just scratching at the surface! But these artistic legends all started somewhere… So today Artsper is introducing you to 5 new female contemporary artists we think you should know about! 

1) Laura Gulshani

Laura Gulshani photographed alongside some of her works
Laura Gulshani photographed alongside some of her works

Laura Gulshani is a young Canadian artist, known for her vibrant fashion illustrations. Aged 28, she already has collaborations with the likes of Chanel, British Vogue, Burberry and Guerlain under her belt. Her collaboration with British Vogue formed part of their 2019 Brexit edition. In general, her paintings reflect everyday life; a woman in a stylish outfit in the street, a magazine outfit, somebody riding a bike around the streets of Paris… They capture life as she sees it with thick and bright strokes of paint. This style was inspired by her love for Matisse and his effortless paintings that celebrate life.

Her works predominantly focus on women and female portraits. This is from the strong female influences in her life on both her Columbian mother’s side and her father’s family in the Middle East. She admires the traits that span the distance between them. Despite being from different cultures they maintain the same resilience and determination. This young artist balances important themes from today’s society with a youthful playfulness that permeates her work.

2) Anne Juliette Deschamps

Second Fur from the Fresh to Death exhibition, 2014
Second Fur from the Fresh to Death exhibition, 2014 

In Deschamp’s characteristic graphic style, angular and sharp works convey conceptual ideas born out of her own view of the world. This view often carries astute comments on the world around us, conveying pertinent messages. Her 2014 exhibition, “Fresh to Death”, was a prime example of this. Here the focus was on the polar bear, which she reimagined in both paintings and sculptures, varying in size. Naturally, due to the use of the polar bear, this exhibition drew attention to global warming and man’s relationship with our surrounding environment. When the exhibition was first put on, the WWF had just added polar bears to the list of endangered species, hence they were literally ‘Fresh to Death’. 

Other collections have been less loaded with explicit social messages. Her 2019 exhibition, Helios, for example, emerged as part of the Young International Art Fair. This was more conceptual with the works being installed from East to West, mirroring the sun’s journey throughout the day.  Her works are thoughtful and intelligent. They take into account the whole environment in which we live, and make us ponder our position in the great universe…

3) Lidia Kostanek

Kostanek at work in her studio
Kostanek at work in her studio 

After studying at the Académie des Beaux Arts de Varsovie, Lidia Kostanek, originally from Poland, moved to France to pursue her career in art. Her surreal sculptures focus on the female body and identity, calling into question the concept of gender. These, often borderline grotesque, sculptures challenge traditional ideas associated with femininity, by representing the body in contorted and unorthodox ways. Her sculptures argue with traditional beliefs that delicacy and violence or seduction and disgust cannot coexist. Instead, Kostanek manages to marry these ideas together; illustrating the contrasts that reside within women.

Through her works she empowers women and the female body. Her sculptures speak for themselves. They challenge the viewer to face the full picture of what it means to be “woman”. Ultimately, Kostanek forces the viewer to accept that the world is full of equal and opposite forces; that “beauty” will always come hand in hand with what is considered to be “the ugly”.

4) Caroline Brisset

Together, 2020, part of her series created during lockdown
Together, 2020, part of her series created during lockdown

Caroline Brisset is not just a sculptor who uses metal, to her metal is the spirit that breathes life into her art. Through her creative process, she feels the material, and aims to release and showcase the energy it holds through her work. She is an artist who enjoys pushing the limits of the material, creating works that have conflicting compositions. Through applying heat, pounding the metal and twisting it into different shapes, she hopes to allow the metal to speak for itself and take whatever form it chooses.

Her works are not exclusively dense or delicate, they are what they are. Due to this approach, her collection of works is incredibly varied. “Soldiers” and “Silhouettes 7” are both selections of tall thin figures who seem to balance precariously on their heavy plinths. By contrast, “Blue Whale Earth” is a huge beast of a structure resembling a mechanical heart suspended in the air. Nevertheless, all her works she aims to break the norms of how metal is used. Recently, over the period of the first confinement, she aimed to make a sculpture every day. The end result is a series, sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, that captures the strange life the world grew accustomed to.

5) Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Over the Fence, 2018
Over the Fence, 2018

Originally from Spain, Alejandra Carles-Tolra’s work has gained international recognition, having been published in the likes of The Huffington Post, CNN, Vice, The Independent and the Wuhan Art Museum in China. Her images cover a multitude of politically and socially aware topics that are sometimes seemingly niche. For example, “Saving Face” which focuses on the social landscape of Vietnam or “Where We Belong” which examined the idea of belonging and femininity through Jane Austen fans. However, these all feed into her overarching focus: the relationship between the individual and group identity and how the latter shapes the former. Currently she works with non profit organizations as an art workshop facilitator using art and education to empower vulnerable communities.

These 5 female artists are just a few of the talented emerging artists who are bursting into the art scene. They each address issues of today to do with politics, the environment, the state of society or our place in the universe, representing these ideas and concepts in both traditional and new ways. As with any artists’ creations, their individual perspectives serve to diversify people’s understanding and update interpretations of the world around us. Find these female artists’ works on Artsper!

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