This year Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society has acquired two works by artist Berni Searle, In wake of, 2014 and Untitled (Red), 1998. These poignant and exceptional works have been donated Manchester Art Gallery and will be unveiled on 10 September 2019.
The Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society (VN XX CAS) scheme encourages debate on the gender imbalance in UK museum collections and museum is receiving the work after making a strong case for addressing the representation of female artists.
Berni Searle works with lens-based media to stage narratives connected to history, memory and place. Using her own body, she addresses race, the commodification of the female body and its power in mythmaking. Her work connects to universal emotions of vulnerability, loss and beauty.
Manchester Art Gallery’s collection has relatively few works by women artists but many depicting women, especially nude women, created by male artists for male patrons. In using her body in her work, Searle takes back control of female representation.