As Galleries Double Down on All-Women Shows, Will Market’s Gender Gap Narrow?
Art Business

As Galleries Double Down on All-Women Shows, Will Market’s Gender Gap Narrow?

Left: Yayoi Kusama, The Castle, 1954; Right: Louise Bourgeois, Spider, 1994. Images courtesy of Sotheby’s. Recent institutional interest in female artists may be having a knock-on effect on the broader art market. All-female commercial exhibitions are on the rise, designed to raise the visibility—and profitability—of women artists who until now have accounted for a relatively minuscule part of the art market. Industry insiders say the growing institutional recognition of women artists coincides with a slew of recent auction records and a genuine desire to redress a long-standing gender imbalance in all corners of the art world—all factors that point to the potential for further market momentum. In one high-profile example, next month, Sotheby’s will open a joint show of works by two of the best-known (and most expensive) female artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama . Titled “Traumata: Bourgeois / Kusama,” the exhibition takes place at the auction house’s London private-selling gallery, S|2, from late February through mid-April. It has a feminist bent, examining how both artists built careers in New York’s male-dominated art scene in the 1950s and ’60s. Isabelle Paagman, the European head of private sales at Sotheby’s, says a series of successful […]

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