Issues

Galleries Across the U.S. Continue To Shun Female Artists

Posted by: Kevin Coyle

It’s been 20 years since the Guerrilla Girls’ released their famous report card detailing the shockingly low number of female artists represented in major galleries. That report card from two decades ago has to have better marks by now, right?

The feminist art collective, Pussy Galore have released an updated version of the famous Guerrilla Girls report card and, sadly the marks aren’t much higher. This slight improvement is just that: slight.

The Gallery Talley Tumblr page offers their own take on gender equality in the arts. This clever tumblr creatively breaks down the numbers between represented male and female artists with infographics. One of their recent posts detailed a response to the NEA’s findings that about lack of female representation in major galleries in 2013. Here are some of their updated numbers:

  1. 33.2% of the artists are female in nearly 500 galleries as of February 2016
  2. Only 37.4% of women artists were represented in the 34 galleries in Chicago,
  3. New York and Los Angeles’ galleries are comprised of only 32.3% females.

Now the question remains regarding a solution to this lack of gender equality in the arts. An article published by Art News in May 2015 offered some insight:

“Let’s not just talk about feminism—let’s live it. Don’t wait for change to come—be proactive. Let’s call out institutions, critics, curators, collectors, and gallerists for sexist practices.

We can continue to establish and participate in feminist coalitions such as the Women’s Caucus for Art and the Feminist Art Project. We must continue to start feminist collectives and artist-run initiatives like A.I.R. Gallery and Ceres Gallery in New York; ff in Berlin; Brown Council in Sydney; Electra Productions, the Inheritance Projects, and SALT in London; FAG (Feminist Art Gallery) in Toronto; and La Centrale in Montreal. We can establish and participate in direct-action groups fighting discrimination against women, like Women’s Action Coalition, which was hugely vocal and influential during the ’90s, Fierce Pussy, the Brainstormers, and, of course, the Guerrilla Girls.”

These reports will prove fruitful through awareness and education on these issues, but it will continue to stay the same without proactive attempts to provide balance. Please click on the provided links if you aren’t aware of the aforementioned coalitions and initiatives in this post!

MooreWomenArtists welcomes comments and a lively discussion, but comments are moderated after being posted. For more details please read our comment policy