Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stating the Obvious

Louise Bourgeois in 1990 with her marble sculpture Eye to Eye (1970) Photo by Raimon Ramis  Louise Bourgeois

In Issue 4 of the Special Edition of The Art Basel Fair Edition of The Art Newspaper, Iwan Wirth, of Hauser and Wirth, is quoted as saying, "Female artists as a whole are shockingly undervalued by the market." He further elucidates, "In May, Lucian Freud became the priciest living artist at $33.6 m and Louise Bourgeois became the priciest living female artist at €2.9m [$4.6m—at Christie’s, Paris, on 27 May.] It is not my mission, but it occurred to me again, on the back of these records, how far female artists have to go."

Women's artistic efforts have consistently been undervalued by society. This isn't "news". It's one of the reasons why Virginia Woolfe wrote the classic A Room of One's Own, other women, such as Mary Ann Evans, have published under pseudonymns such George Elliot, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts is the sole museum in the world dedicated to recognizing the contributions of women artists.

I doubt that change is going to come about in our life time. Perhaps we need to follow the lead of women authors and consider selling our work under pseudonyms?

1 comment:

Pam Hawk said...

Man, that's a sad day when we can't use our real names. But you have a point. Too bad it's still that way after... how many centuries?