The Art Market Is Finally Catching up with Strong Female Artists It Ignored
Art Business

The Art Market Is Finally Catching up with Strong Female Artists It Ignored

When she wasn’t giving interviews, the artist Mary Kelly spent the better part of Frieze’s VIP day in the Pippy Houldsworth booth in the fair’s special section, “Social Work,” observing how women and men reacted to her framed images of texts alongside silkscreens of a crumpled black leather jacket and a black leather handbag—a meditation on the onset of middle age, female camaraderie, and the complex relationship between a woman’s appearance and her inner self. “Men come in and they go out; women come in and they get deeply into it,” Kelly said, wearing a buttery black leather jacket, accompanied by an elegant black woven-leather handbag of the Bottega Veneta variety. Her look was reminiscent of the items documented in her work, Interim Part I: Corpus (1984–85), part of a special section devoted to eight female artists who were making politically and socially charged work in the 1980s. Kelly’s calm bemusement in the eye of a market storm should come as no surprise, given the steady uptick in her prices and the growing demand from museums and collectors for her work. (The work in the booth is priced around $1 million for the full 30-part installation; dealer Pippy Houldsworth […]

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