Art Exhibition & Auction Raising Money To Advance Gender Equality & The Female Gaze In The Arts

Reisha Perlmutter, “Trillium” Artwork featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition + Paddle8 Auction presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020

You have heard it many times, from numerous sources (including us!) – women today are dramatically underrepresented in the art world – including in museums, galleries, auction houses and public art. Things have hardly shifted in the last few decades and the statistics are pretty shocking. Anyone who actually reads the reports that have been published would agree something must be done, because if the female gaze and female artists are largely invisible in the art world, what does that say about the creative arts and who they cater to, not to mention the kinds of messages that are put out in the world absent of female voices?

A new exhibition and auction event curated by a non-profit, founded by an artist and gallery owner in New York City, is looking to change the status quo by amplifying the work of female artists.

Art4Equality was founded by artist and curator Indira Cesarine, founder of The Untitled Space. Since launching gallery in 2015, she has curated over 35 feminist themed exhibitions and has exhibited artwork by more than 300 female artists. In other words, she is creating the change she wants to see. Indira launched Art4Equality in order to create more opportunities for female artists including large scale national and international exhibitions, high profile art fairs and public art that can have a greater impact on gender equality in the arts, impact social change, and make a difference for future generations of women.

“Frida” Neon Portrait of Frida Khalo by Indira Cesarine featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020
“Harriet” Neon Portrait of Harriet Tubman by Indira Cesarine featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020
“I Believe in Free Love (Victoria Woodhull)” Neon Portrait of Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for president of the United States, by Indira Cesarine featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020

To understand why an initiative like this is relevant and important today, take a look at some of the stats around women and the art industry. The facts are clear – even in 2020, women are dramatically underrepresented in museums, galleries, auction houses and public art. These have been published in a variety of credible sources below (ranging from reports by National Endowment of The Arts to the New York Times among many others):

  • There are 2,500,000 professional artists in the US, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • 50% of MFA graduates are women, according to Artnet News. More than 46% of total visual artists are female according to 2019 Report by National Endowment of The Arts.
  • Women on average earn 74¢ for every dollar made by male artists according to National Endowment of The Arts.
  • In the last decade, only 11% of art by female artists was acquired by top museums in the US for their permanent collections. 29,247 works by female artists were acquired by 26 top museums in the United States, chosen from 260,470 total works. (NY Times)
Elisa Garcia de la Huerta, “Queenhannasus, Poem for Patriarchy” Artwork featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition + Paddle8 Auction presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020
Artist Anne Barlinckhoff “True Love” Artwork featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition + Paddle8 Auction presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020
  • Women artists represent only 13% of artwork featured in museums and galleries. Out of over 10,000 artists in the permanent collections of 18 prominent art museums in the U.S., 87% are male (Public Library of Science). 13.7% of living female artists are represented by galleries in Europe and North America. (Artnet News)
  • 27% of solo exhibitions in the US at major institutions are devoted to women artists compared to 73% male – out of 590 major exhibitions by nearly 70 institutions reviewed. In another study of 820,000 exhibitions across the public and commercial (gallery) sectors in 2018, only one third are by female artists. (The Art Newspaper)
Leah Schrager “The Season Of Censors” Artwork featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition + Paddle8 Auction presented by The Untitled Space, January – February 2020
  • 2% of artworks by women were sold at auction between 2008 – 2019. More than $196.6 billion has been spent on art at auction during this time frame, and only $4 billion was spent on art made by women (Artnet News).
  • 5 of the 150 statues in the New York City outdoor public spaces honor women. City Hall has recently confirmed (in March 2019) that an additional 4 to be installed bringing the total to 6% female (New York Times).
  • 2 works by women have ever broken into the top 100 auction sales for paintings, despite women being the subject matter for approximately half of the top 25. (Artsy, Art Market 2019 Report)
Tara Lewis “HA HA HA” Artwork featured in Art4Equality Benefit Exhibition + Paddle8 Auction presented by The Untitled Space, January – February

The Art4Equality x Paddle8 Benefit Auction will feature over 200 artworks by over 60 artists including Reisha Perlmutter, Hiba Schahbaz, Fahren Feingold, Indira Cesarine, Karen Bystedt, Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Sarah Maple, Rebecca Leveille, Tara Lewis, Tina Maria Elena Bak, Lynn Bianchi, Leah Schrager, Katie Commodore, Annika Connor, Alexandra Rubinstein, Trina Merry, Victoria Selbach, and Peter Beard, among many others.

The exhibition will run from January 30 – February 11, 2020, and you can find out more information about the artists and the auction HERE.

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