We all know the saying—’Art Reflects Life.’ But how true is this observation when you realize representation of women artists makes up only 3 to 5 percent of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe?
Even financially female artists are stunted, earning 81 cents for every dollar a male artist makes. Of the top earning 15 living artists in the world, only one is a woman. (You can check out Cindy Sherman’s work here.)
But fear not, daring women are working every day to change this. Whether as artists themselves, gallery owners or curators, there are new efforts to highlight women artists and give them the representation they deserve.
Take the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago for example. They work to support female-identified artists by giving them exhibition opportunities along with professional development and public programs. They have exhibited more than 7,500 women artists since their founding in 1992 and work to, “ensure the equal placement of women’s art in the world.”
Major galleries and museums are also working to highlight female artists in exhibits such as “O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York,” at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, Florida and “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in Los Angeles, California.
Female artists creating today are striving to represent not only their artistic message, but also their message as women. Here are a few daring women you should know about:
“Felice House is a figurative painter who strives, through her portraits of women, to provide a counterpoint to the passive female representations found in art historical tradition and culture at large. Her work endeavors to challenge stereotypes and empower her audience, women in particular, to change their preconceived notions of gender and power.”
“Calling figuration and abstraction ‘meaningless distinctions,’ Tatiana Berg combines the two, producing paintings that burst with the boundless physical energy of their making. She draws inspiration from art history, her ‘contemporary painting heroes’ Dana Schutz, Nicole Eisenman, and Amy Sillman, social media, and television, especially the Mad Men series.”
“In my work hair symbolises experiences grounded in blackness and womanhood. We have a relationship with hair that both enables and extracts a sense of beauty. America has a history of setting beauty standards relative to whiteness. I feel that my work is significant because it attempts to negotiate new meanings and representations from our collective memories.”