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Giovanna Olmos, Selfie Paintings
From Selfie PaintingsArtwork by Giovanna Olmos

The artists around the world to watch right now

Mystical staircases and tarot cards, digital mirror selfies and sexting – Fran Gavin selects some of her favourites, all of who just happen to be women

Though half the world is sweating somewhere, art waits for no one. These ten artists are all making objects and experiences that feel to be on the verge of new ideas and aesthetics – whether that is in performance, film, sculpture or painting. Here are 10 creative innovators who just happen to be female – sorry guys, next time


A Mystical Staircase is one of those projects that are endlessly fun to play with. An online exhibition that is an offshoot of two projects – The Internet Saga and last Venice’s III Internet Pavillion of artist tarot cards that include the work of dayglo digital aesthetic pleasures of Greek RCA graduate Eva Papamargariti.


Gstaad might be the Swiss go to for the uber rich each winter, but this summer it is the location for the new baby biennial Project1049, put together by artists Raphael Hefti and Paul Kneale. Their long-term collaborator, Megan Rooney, is one of the names on show – a great artist whose work moves from scrawled wall paintings to poetry performance work and has just had solos at London’s Seventeen gallery and an underground deco car park with Croy Neilsen in Berlin.


This girl’s installations bring together glazed ceramics, matt metal structures, wall tiles and touch of mess (in a good way). Dualé’s work is part of a group show titled Unfinished Symphony (closing at the end of the week) at Gillmeier Rech in Berlin (a gallery whose name just keeps getting mentioned) and in a show on the future of photography at Austria’s Landesmuseum Linz.


Eight of Olmos’ digital portraits of mirror selfies, which resemble beautiful beautiful paintings blending abstraction and the figurative, are included in this year’s Manifesta11 (Switzerland) in a show about the historical representation of work in the past fifty years (co-curated by yours truly). She’s definately a young one to watch – with brilliant performance lectures on digital art and works that push what a smart phone can mean for art.


There is something beautiful about the subtlety and lines of McGurn’s canvases, floor drawings and wall paintings. Think Jean Cocteau in the body of a woman existing in a 21st-century post pop urban context. McGurn’s work is part of delightfully titled group show Sexting at NYC’s Kate Werble Gallery.


Lea Schönfelder collaborated with artist Peter Lu on a very amusing computer game Perfect Woman which is part of an exhibition Gameplay at Korea’s Nam June Paik Art Center this month. Lea’s worked on other illustrative online art games for adults blending gaming with ideas about sex, gender and a massive bang of humour like the dirty and delightful monochrome game


RA grad Sophie Michael has been given a well-deserved Art Now spot at the Tate Britain for Trip (The Light Fantastic), a selection of beautiful film works exploring ideas around abstraction, nostalgia, history and Britishness in layers and layers of visual 16mm imagery. Jonas Mekas would be very happy to see that in the art world at least physical film is alive and thriving.


Lea Cetera’s website is an amalgam of gif snowflakes, cat videos, and images of her amazing plastic-infused sculptural works, performance project documentation and odd video installations that touch on ideas around viral internet culture as much as art history. She’s showing as part of Nicoletta Lambertucci’s (all girl artists) exhibition Tarantallegra at Hester in New York.


Lena Henke, who studied under Michael Krebber in Frankfurt, is an artist with a strong conceptual bent and minimalist leanings who makes installation works – including "My History of Flow" currently on show at Switzerland’s SALTS in Basel in curated by Anna Goetz. The exhibition is an immersive sculpture inspired by garden design and architecture, using water tanks, fountains and a dose of mist.


If a collector can be an artist then Valeria Napoleone is just that. The London-based Italian supporter collects only female artists from Goshka Macuga to Julie Verhoeven and many, many more. One of the main supporters of the incredible Studio Voltaire, she has brought a chunk of her works up to Graves Gallery in Sheffield so you can discover a whole litany of female artists.