'Meet the Women Artists of Soho House'
Ahead of hosting a special event for Bazaar Art Week, the club’s head of collections Kate Bryan selects six of her favourite recent commissions
As the head of collections for Soho House, Kate Bryan has the power to provide a platform for some of today’s leading contemporary artists, showcasing their work across the club’s international network of venues. A proud champion of women in art (when The Ned launched last year, she created an exhibition of 100 works, 93 of which were by female artists), she introduces six of her favourite recent commissions in this inspiring gallery. Browse the selection and book your ticket to see Bryan at Bazaar Art Week, when she will host an exclusive breakfast at 40 Greek Street with three of the featured artists (Susan Hiller, Annie Kevans and Sarah Maple).
Annie Morris (‘Untitled’, 2014, The Ned)
These large tapestries by Annie Morris are installed at The Ned London, a sister collection to the Soho House Art collection. In the former boardroom of what was Midland Bank, lovingly designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, the Ned has the largest tapestry in the UK, dating from the 1940s. We wanted a contemporary take on the medium in the large room next door and Annie’s three tapestries are an intriguing and beautiful counterpoint. Full of personal, esoteric imagery, they showcase the artist’s innate gift for line.
Tracey Emin (‘I Looked For You’, 2018, 40 Greek Street)
Tracey Emin created this as part of a special commission at 40 Greek Street Soho House. Inspired by Paul Klee’s famous statement that “a line is a dot that went for a walk”, I asked 20 major artists to create a continuous line drawing, with each instructed to use A3 paper and not remove the pen or pencil from the page. Tracey delivered this perfect work, staying true to the Surrealist continuous line and referencing her iconic My Bed of 1998.
Sarah Maple (‘Not 30%’, 2018, Soho Farmhouse)
Sarah Maple is a young artist concerned with feminism, gender and religious identity. A lot of her work is purposefully contentious, demanding the viewer to reflect on perceived assumptions about women, Muslims and artists – and sometimes all three at once. I commissioned this new piece to mark Not 30%, a display of 30 women artists that I am curating at this October’s edition of The Other Art Fair. The title takes its cue from the statistic that women are represented in London museums and galleries a maximum of 30 per cent of the time.
Annie Kevans (‘Suzanne Valadon 2’, 2014, The Vault 100 at The Ned)
This portrait of the artist Suzanne Valadon is part of Annie Kevans’ seminal series Women and The History of Art. Annie took on the traditional canon of Western art history, which is guilty of leaving out women. By painting their portraits in one large body of work, she reminds us that there have been leading women artists for centuries. The portrait is sensitivity executed with Annie’s typical lightness of touch, as if the subject is re-emerging onto the pages of art history.
Sarah Lucas (‘Pepsi and Cocky #11’, 2009, 40 Greek Street)
Dating from 1994, this photographic record of a powerful sculpture by Sarah Lucas is a key new work on display at 40 Greek Street, among other pieces with a punk aesthetic. Lucas transforms tights – that most mundane and traditional piece of clothing – into her own figurative language. In doing so, she creates hybrid forms that are newly sexualised while retaining an edge of humour and fantasy. Absurd and unnerving at once, the creature cannot be dissected from the chair upon which she ‘sits’.
Susan Hiller (‘For the posthumous spectator’, 2018, giclée on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, White City House)
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Susan Hiller is one of the most influential creative figures of her generation and a pioneering voice for female artists. Many of her works reference the supernatural, this ‘aura’ piece being a play on the work of Marcel Duchamp. Created especially for Soho House White City, it references the only interview Duchamp made on English television, with Joan Bakewell on the BBC in 1968.