One of the most exciting things about the contemporary art world is the new voices the genre elevates. And right now, there are some incredibly exciting female voices pushing the boundaries of their art forms.

Surprisingly, in the U.S. 70% of fine arts undergraduate degrees are earned by women, but, only 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women – so it is important to lift up those female voices at every chance we can.

From inspiring new Canadian artists, to emerging artists in Shanghai and across the world, here are the contemporary art’s rising female stars you should be paying attention to in 2021 and beyond…

Jasphy Zheng

Based between China and Brooklyn, Jasphy Zheng’s work pinpoints moments of our social environment through mixed media. Her first solo exhibition, ‘Stories from the Room’, debuted at Japan’s CCA Kitakyushu and is now installed in Shanghai’s Rockbund Museum. The participatory project is described as a ‘sculptural moment’, and is made up of bronze sculptures, combined with a growing collation of pieces of first-person writing about people’s lived experiences during COVID lockdown, from contributors all over the world.
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Stephanie Hier

Playful and eccentric, Toronto-born artist’s Stephanie Hier’s pieces juxtapose the classic with the modern, and line drawings with detailed paintings, creating art which is impossible to not be delighted by. Millennial and proud, it’s filled with internet culture references and has been compared to the work of Lewis Carroll, with Hier describing herself as “falling down a rabbit hole” when it comes to her time on the internet. You will feel the same once you begin scrolling through her pieces.
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Juno Calypso

Reimagining selfies for the fine art world, London-based artist Juno Calypso’s self-portraits feature the artist dressed as her alter-ego: Joyce. Through this doppelganger, she examines themes of feminism and desire in a darkly comic, Barbie-pink, hyper-femininity in photography, film and installations.
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Joanna Piotrowska

Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska’s black and white stills examine themes of history and remembrance, while feeling entirely modern. Her most recent exhibition, Stable Vices, presented at Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, combined black and white photography and moving image to capture the strange moving, and sometimes haunting drama of everyday human interactions, applying psychological depth to seemingly mundane gestures. An advocate for women’s rights, Piotrowska recently donated 100 limited edition photographs to raise money and awareness for women’s rights in Poland.
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Nika Fontaine

Nika Fontaine’s works are inspired by the idea of Ego as a construct, and the energies which shape us, with spiritual influences from Kabbalah, Hermetism, lucid dreaming, vipassana meditation, 12 steps fellowships, Kundalini yoga. Born in Montreal, Canada and now based in Berlin, Germany, she works in a range of media, from oil paintings, to metal reliefs and sculpture.
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