On Monday night, one of Gagosian gallery’s 16 worldwide locations, on 24th Street in New York City, will play host to a panel discussion titled “Gender Equality and Art.” Gagosian is one of several New York galleries to partner with Art 2030, a program looking at ways to incorporate art in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The panel—which will stream live on Instagram—is described as a “discussion on gender representation, disparity, and equality in the arts.” Curator Johanna Burton of the New Museum in New York is moderating, and participants include artist Mary Weatherford, whose huge, stunning paintings, now on view at Gagosian, will provide a dramatic backdrop for the talk.
All of this made me wonder just how the world’s mega galleries—those with multiple locations globally—are doing with gender equality. Because the whole issue of artist representation can be a bit fuzzy, and because one artist can be represented by different galleries in different parts of the world, I decided to look only at the solo exhibitions the galleries put on at all their locations over the past five years.
The worst performance, as it happens, was Gagosian’s, with women accounting for just 13 percent of solo shows. Pace did somewhat better, at 20 percent. David Zwirner did better than that, at 26 percent. The most equitable of the four megas was Hauser & Wirth, at 33 percent.
The bottom line? The mega galleries need to do better at including women artists in their programs. That should provide some fodder for Monday’s panel!
—Sarah Douglas, Editor-in-Chief