Incredible Women

6 Incredible Women Shaking Up The Art World In 2022

Viola Raikhel

Founders, curators, historians, gallerists – we ask a series of Incredible Women innovating the art world to share their earliest forays into the field and the ways in which their work is now contributing to shaking it up

Viola Raikhel, co-founder of online art platform AP8

“My passion for art began at an early age, when I first discovered my father’s collection of 35mm slides [photography transparencies] of artworks from the Galleria Borghese in Rome and the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. This was my portal into a world I knew I always wanted to be part of. The enchantment hasn’t left me since.

“AP8 was born from a desire to shake up the art world: [to make] the most coveted and collectible museum-quality artworks from the world’s most outstanding artists accessible to a whole new audience of collectors. They are curated and produced as a unique series of limited editions and delivered directly to customers globally. By reimagining what collecting art can look like, AP8’s partnership with NET-A-PORTER will reach an audience of millions and equip them with the tools and knowledge to become collectors in their own right and celebrate the art of collecting for a new generation.”

Discover NET-A-PORTER’s first drop of iconic, limited-edition artwork

Destinee Ross-Sutton

Destinee Ross-Sutton, curator and gallerist

[My passion for art] has always been there, but I only [saw it] in hindsight, when I realized that my creativity and the opportunities I had were because of early experiences with art, starting aged six, when I went to a Montessori school.

[I have been innovating the art world] through my ground-breaking exhibition series Black Voices. The first edition opened in April of 2020 – a month before the international Black Lives Matter protests – and, in turn, sparked my collaboration with the international auction house Christie’s in New York and the Say It Loud exhibition series. Both series have helped redefine the art canon the way many know it, giving young and emerging BIPOC artists an unprecedented platform to showcase their work.

“In 2020 I developed my ‘Ross-Sutton’ sales agreement, which prohibits resale at auction for three to five years and secures a percentage of the profit on future sales of the work for the artist – nothing unheard of, but something that is not common practice [and] is now being demanded by more artists. In 2021, I was the first gallery to start registering all works on the blockchain in order for the provenance to not only be traceable, but for the title and COA [Certificate of Authenticity] to be securely transferred to a buyer and for future sales to be tracked and terms to be adhered to.

“This year, I will continue to expand my international work with exhibitions promoting young and emerging artists and making the art world a more fair and equitable business.”

Isabella Rothman and Sophie Merrell, co-founders of art collective Wondering

“Our aim is to engage with emerging artists and to give them a platform and opportunity to build their profiles and, importantly, to sell work! Our collective stems from creativity – it’s welcoming, making it accessible and a joy for people anywhere in the world who want to build up their art collection. We’re here for both artists and collectors.

“Our upcoming shows will bring together our artists from various parts of the world. We’re excited to keep going with these exhibitions, with a different selection of artists, makers and photographers each time.”

Isabella Rothman (left) and Sophie Merrell
Aindrea Emelife

Aindrea Emelife, curator and art historian

“I have been passionate about art from a young age. When I was little, I’d beg my mother to take me around the National Gallery, sitting crossed-legged on the floor in awe of these great masterpieces. The passion is rooted in a deep curiosity to understand what it means to be human, and an ongoing investigation to learn more about myself by understanding the perspectives of artists and how they see the world. Because of this, as a curator, I look at my exhibitions as a lens to introduce new ideas to people, encourage viewers to see the world differently, and expand our appreciation of ourselves, and others – other cultures, ideas, desires, frustrations and visions for the future. I am excited to be part of a new wave of thinkers in the art world – as a young Black female curator, I feel it is vital for me to put my vision into the world, so that others can engage with art and feel that art is for them. Art is beauty, but it is also a revolution of the mind – it encourages us to look at the world anew.”

Egami Etsu

Egami Etsu, artist

“American and Japanese curators have said that I am the most representative third-generation, post-war contemporary artist in Japan. This is a generation not satisfied with symbolic identities. They have an international background and explore the human instinct through their own experiences. I grew up in many countries and these combinations are my experiences. My explorations gradually became my painting language. Japanese art critic Chiba Shigeo calls my work ‘post-painting’, combining the two contexts of painting history, the essence of abstraction and storytelling, trying to paint from a new horizon.

“Last year, I received the Outstanding Artist Award from the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs and I was dispatched to New York. I met the curator of MOMA, and we talked about how women and Asian artists are finally getting more attention. I am always questioning, what is true diversity? I hope to continue contributing to this subject.”

Etsu’s work will be on display as part of an exhibition co-curated by NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER, in partnership with Tang Contemporary Art, from September 2–6, during the KIAF (Korea International Art Fair) Seoul x Frieze Seoul 2022

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown