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  • From 8 March, Saatchi Gallery will celebrate the work of 10 contemporary
    Dutch female artists whose practices range from painting to sculpture, textiles,
    and photography
  • Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the exhibition aims to reshape the
    narrative for the current and future generations of women artists
  • Featuring a project which is an extension of Saar de Swart’s chess piece set,
    (collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) with five contemporary interpretations
    acting as a robust response to historical underrepresentation

LONDON, UK – Saatchi Gallery, in collaboration with artist-curator Louise te Poele, is proud to present Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: A Celebration of Dutch Female Artists.

When thinking of the Dutch Masters, why do only male artists come to mind? Addressing the persistent gender imbalance in the art world, this exhibition highlights the underrepresentation of contemporary Dutch female artists. It aims to provide a platform for experienced creators and emerging talents – fostering collaboration and solidarity among women in the arts.

Recent statistics reveal that less than 5% of artists in museums are women, a stark reminder of the historical dominance of men in the art world. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is a symbolic act of elevating Dutch female artists, drawing inspiration from the rich history of artistic giants like Rachel Ruysch and Saar de Swart, but with a clear intent to reshape the narrative for the current and future generations of women artists.

Saatchi Gallery, a globally recognised authority in contemporary art, is the perfect platform for this exhibition. Since 1985, the gallery has presented emerging artists, contributing significantly to their recognition worldwide. Its continued commitment to supporting largely unseen and underrepresented artists aligns seamlessly with the mission of this exhibition.

Louise te Poele, this project’s curator and artistic director, stands at the forefront of this transformative initiative. Reflecting on her unique position as a Dutch female artist in London, she is dedicated to extending visibility to herself and her fellow female artists. The curated selection spans experienced creators and emerging talents, ensuring a diverse representation of visual narratives on an international stage.

Te Poele emphasises, “Your mind is as flexible as you allow it to be. This exhibition is a feast for thought, showcasing multiple dialogues and perspectives on our worldview. Embrace this openness and let your mind be nourished by the diverse insights presented here.”

Gallery 1 features a sculpture project as an extension of Saar de Swart’s chess piece set, (collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam), as a symbolic representation of the void in the history of women artists. Five contemporary interpretations of key chess pieces crafted by Dutch female artists are a robust response to historical underrepresentation.

Gallery 2 delves into the autonomous work of contemporary female-identifying artists, presenting a diverse selection at different points in their careers. The artworks create a continuous dialogue between the self, each other, and the world, echoing the desire of female artists to be seen and heard.

Janine van Oene (paintings)
Iriée Zamblé (painting – Winner Royal Award for Painting 2022)
Krystel Geerts (sculpture)
Simone Albers (sculptures and paintings)
Wieteke Heldens (paintings)
Maria Roosen (sculptures)
Anne von Freyburg (Winner of the Robert Walters UK New Artist Award 2021)
Lisa Šebestíková (sculptures)
Anya Janssen (paintings)
Louise te Poele (photography and installations)

Exhibition Partners
Saatchi Gallery, SMAG Foundation (artistic director Louise te Poele and business director
Lotte Rosier) and The Dutch Embassy make this collaborative effort possible. Louise te
Poele is curating the exhibition in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery. The Dutch Embassy of
the United Kingdom has offered invaluable support in realising the show’s production.

In addition to our primary partners, we thank the Mondriaan Fund, Stichting Voor Vrouwen
Door Vrouwen and other funding partners for their invaluable support.






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