Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao is collected by Tate Modern, the Guggenheim and MoCA, and has also exhibited at some of the world’s most respected galleries, including MoMa, Victoria Miro and Fondation Cartier. This puts her up there with the leading artists of our time and makes her one of the most recognised female Latin American artists of her generation. She has a pavilion dedicated entirely to her work at theCentro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, outside Belo Horizonte, 200 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The artist was born in Rio in 1964 and still lives there today.
Varejao is one of the three women who top the sale price records in Brazilian art auctions. Earlier this month her work was included in the Spotlight exhibition at Frieze Masters, this year’s new section of Frieze art fair. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Spotlight focused on the work of established female artists, many of whose work has previously missed the level of recognition it deserves.
Varejao’s sculptures and installations look at identity issues – those of race, gender, and politics – in the Post-Colonial and Feminist traditions that defined the later 20th century. Her contemporaries in Spotlight address similar concerns, suggesting that the art world is at last ready to consider these important female voices on a par with their male counterparts.
Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramović and Yoko Ono have all been rewarded with significant solo shows in 2011 and 2012. Following the attention given to those most widely celebrated female art stars of our time Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, this points towards today’s resurgent cultural interest in looking seriously at feminine identity and thinking about how it continues to change.
It was with pride and gratitude, therefore, that we were able to include a fantastic Varejao piece in our last auction at Full Circle 2011. Generously donated by the artist, the sculpture contributed a significant amount towards the Bottletop Foundation, which proceeds from the auction supported.