7.10.2008

Gender gap still glaringly obvious in art auctions

The Independent:
Mr [Iwan] Wirth [who represents artist Louise Bourgeois] complained that, while even the best-known female artists sell for around £2m-3m, lesser male artists make more money at auction: "Surely the art market, of all places, should be free of such prejudices. I was delighted to see an important painting by Dumas sell at Sotheby's for £3.2m. However, one has to compare this with works from the same sale, which included a Bacon that sold for £13.7m, a [Jean-Michel] Basquiat for £5m and a Richard Prince for £4.2 m. Female artists are the bargain in today's markets."

The writer and sociologist Sarah Thornton, whose book on the art market will be published later this year, said that only 30 per cent of works in museums and galleries are by women, while the top 100 artists at auction in 2007 includes only four women, with the highest at No 49.

2 comments:

Jordan T-H said...

Artists should be happy they have customers with so much disposable income to waste on canvas and plaster. What a bunch of whiney art-school bitc... oh wait.

ellen said...

Wow Jordan how insightful...What may i ask is whiney about addressing major inequalities in relation to gender. Art school or no art school- these issues are have an affect on wider society. We live in an age where art has the power to affect a far wider audience, it is not limited to a small elite.
These patterns of consumerism i.e male artists selling their work for a far higher price are therefore of great discomfort to anyone who enjoys 'a day out an exhibition'not just for 'art school boffs'.- Whatever your opinion is of contemporary art i.e 'canvas on plaster' why is 'canvas and plaster ' by a man selling for more?