Investing in Female Artists Pt. 1 – artmarketblog.com
As a consultant and adviser to art investors I am often required to take on the role of a sort of art market futurist and make predictions regarding future trends and identify the artists/movements/genres etc. that have the greatest investment potential. There is one prediction that I have made that I would like to share with everyone because it relates to a particularly important and relevant issue that has been the subject of much debate over the last few years. It is no secret that the work of female artists sell for much less than their male counterparts and it is no secret that one of the reasons for this is the lack of recognition of the achievements of female artists by the cultural sector (scholars, museums, public galleries etc.). Interest in the work of female artists is, however, on the increase as the cultural sector begins to recognise the work of female artists from as early as the 16th century. I believe that the work of female artists is seriously under-rated and under-valued and that the value of the work of histories finest female artists will continue to rise in value in conjunction with the increased pressure put on the cultural sector to give female artists the attention and recognition they deserve.
Jerry Saltz recently re-ignited the debate over the status of female artists in relation to their male counterparts when he posted the details on his facebook profile of a meeting he had with a MoMA’s Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture regarding the lack of works by women artists displayed at the MoMA. This was not the first time that Saltz had weighed in on the recognition of female artists debate. In 2007, Saltz wrote an article for the New York Magazine called ‘Where Are All the Women: On MoMA’s Identify Politics’ in which he criticised the MoMA for what he described as the exclusion of “women from the display of its permanent collection of painting and sculpture from 1879 to 1969″. Saltz’s facebook post suggests that not much has changed since the article he wrote more than 18 months ago.
In July 2008 an article by Andrew Johnson appeared in the English newspaper The Independent titled ‘There’s never been a great woman artist’ which looks at the dollar value put on the work of female artists compared to the work of their male counterparts. Johnson’s article provides two different points of view relating to the price discrepancy between male and female artists. The first point of view is that the art market is sexist and that female artists are not given the recognition they deserve compared to their male counterparts. Art critic Brian Sewell provides the alternative point of view which is that there has never been a first-rank women artist, only second and third rank. I personally find Sewell’s point of view completely ridiculous and totally unjustified. It may seem that there have never been any first-rank women artists but that is only because the art market and the cultural sector are sexist. Those women artists who are worthy of being considered “first-rank” have not been given the recognition and attention that would elevate them to the status of “first rank”.
Do you believe that there has been a “first rank” female artist?
To be continued……..
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.
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