My attention was caught today with an email from Artsy about the market for women artists. It is a three part series including The Late Women Artists Garnering Art Market Attention reporting that last year auction sales in deceased women artists grew by 109%. We all think this is about time.
That led me to the second part and in The State of the Market for Women Artists’ Work we learn that $11 billion worth of artwork was sold at auction in 2022: $9.7 billion was male, only $1 billion was women. That is just 9.3%. No women were in the top 50 most expensive. Two were in the top 100 and 50 were in the top 500. Not so great.
How about sales for women artists born after 1975 reported the The Ultra-Contemporary Women Artists at the Forefront of the Art Market. The real growth for these women was in 2020 where they went from about $49 million to $220 million that is a whopping 339%. The split between men and women in sales was 56.1% male vs. 43.6% female. BUT if you look at artist born after 1985 the split reverses 63.8% for women to only 36% for men.
That is when I went further down the rabbit hole and saw that Black Women Artists Black like Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Jennifer Packer are in this mix. I found videos on both women, one from the Tate in London and one from The Whitney in New York which were both fascinating. I have been wanting to respect both Black History Month and Women’s History Month in some way and I hope you find this a satisfying journey to enter both worlds at once. Both women are figurative artists which cements the view that the figure is back!