View Full Version : injustice in the art world

04-15-2019, 07:22 PM
Hello all,

We’ve touched, in the past, on this topic as related to female artists, but of course, discrimination is everywhere and has no boundaries.

Recently there have been 4 articles about discrimination in the art world in the New York Times that you might find interesting.

One https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/23/arts/design/black-artists-older-success.html is about African American artists who have been ‘discovered’ after working quietly for many years. The article mentions Jack Whitten, who died last year. I was recently visiting a friend in Houston and there was an exhibit of his work at the MFA there (https://www.mfah.org/exhibitions/odyssey-jack-whitten-sculpture). My friend had been on the painting faculty of the Cooper Union in NYC with Whitten some years ago. She was totally taken by surprise. She had no idea he had been making the marvelous sculptures that he had hidden away until only a couple of years ago. She said they would have not been accepted in the NY art world. They have such a powerful African influence. Is that why?

There is another article about an African artist showing in Germany. El Anatusi’s work is stunning. Any of you in Munich, I hope you can visit the exhibit and report on it. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/arts/design/el-anatsui-art-review-munich.html?action=click&module=Features&pgtype=Homepage
to quote from the article:

“It remains sadly uncommon for African contemporary art to receive this kind of full reckoning, and all too often, when it makes it to Europe or the United States, our museums often shrink it to fulfilling a single political or educational function.”

The final two articles I want to mention are concerning the prejudice toward woman artists here in the US. One written by the witty Gail Collins titled “where the girls aren’t” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/opinion/women-statues.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
The second is related to Ms. Collin’s column. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/nyregion/women-statues-nyc.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
And this is an eye-opening piece from National Public Radio (NPR) on the disparity in what buyers are willing to pay for female vs. male made art! https://www.npr.org/2018/09/18/649060336/researchers-explore-gender-disparities-in-the-art-world

It is good news that these pieces are seeing the light of day. But still when will discrimination in every aspect of our lives be past?

If you are interested in this topic, Kokuu introduced me to a book on a related topic written by a friend of his, Aruna D’souza. Whitewalling, art, race & protest in 3 acts.

Any comments or personal experiences to report?

I am not sure if this sort of discrimination occurs in other art area besides visual art. And if not, I wonder why visual art?



04-15-2019, 10:07 PM
One of my regrets about my own mortality is that I will likely die before I will see a world that truly celebrates the attributes of the traditionally suppressed and ignored. Not just our current lip service to equality, which is where women have to try to be like men and people of color have to be like white folks to be praised, but true admiration for the qualities they already possess and bring to the table. When women can own and be proud of their innate tendencies, such as compassion and nurturing, instead of feeling that they have to be tough to measure up... where people of color can celebrate their culture, and others around them are inspired instead of uncomfortable. Dreams.