Hear how women artists, curators, and Tate Exchange Associates are making their voices heard in the art world.
Are women represented fairly in the arts?
According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 51 per cent of visual artists today are women. But when it comes to exhibitions and gallery representation, the numbers tell a less optimistic story. In London, for example, 78 per cent of the galleries represent more men than women, while only 5 per cent represent an equal number of male and female artists.
And beyond the statistics, women artists and curators face unique challenges, from the subjects they bring to light to the work they choose to present. As Tate Modern director Frances Morris has said, women have been discriminated against for centuries, and major institutions have typically failed to support the careers of women artists working on the margins. The number of women in the Tate collection is growing, and half the rooms in the Switch House are currently devoted to a sole female artist, but work remains to be done.
So what can we do to more fairly represent women in the arts? Should we strive for an equal split of men and women artists? Do we rewrite the history books? Or is some other way? Tell us what you think.
What's next for women artists, curators, and practitioners?
Since opening in September 2016, Tate Exchange has hosted a number of events exploring issues of representation, visibility, and identity from the perspective of women artists. Legendary performance artist Lorraine O'Grady opened up a frank conversation about the reality of ageing as a woman. The Guerrilla Girls brought a spirit of activism and a series of provocative banners exposing inequality in the art world into the gallery. And the W Project hosted a forum featuring leading women artists and curators and questioning the future of curation.
But as Frances puts it, this is only the start. The next step is to bring more and more diverse voices into the gallery, to seek out women doing challenging and innovative work and those who were neglected by history, and to work torwards greater representation of diverse, non-European women in collections and galleries, at Tate and beyond. And for that, we need your voice.