Tate Admits Need to Buy More Works by Women Artists ; HOME
Akbar, Arifa, The Independent (London, England)
The trustees of Tate Modern have admitted that the collection fails to give adequate recognition to female artists and that they need to rectify the gender gap.
The gallery's trustees acknowledged the imbalance in the existing collection at a recent board meeting, and have resolved to acquire more works by female painters and sculptors, according to the next issue of The Art newspaper.
Of the 2,914 artists represented in the Tate's collection, only 348 - less than 12 per cent - are women, and only two of the 39 major works bought over the past two years were by female artists.
The initiative was inspired by the need to recog-nise female talent that had so far gone unacknowledged, the Tate said. "We examine our holdings on a regular basis to identify what may have been overlooked in the past and research what may be available to fill the gaps."
While some contemporary female artists are well represented in the collection - especially those who emerged in the 1990s Young British Artists movement, including Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread - those from previous generations are not.
Those who have been overlooked include the US painter Georgia O'Keeffe, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who was the subject of the 2002 Hollywood film Frida, and the British painter Alison Lapper, who received an MBE for services to art in 2003 and was the subject of Marc Quinn's Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square.
Dame Barbara Hepworth, the Cornish sculptor whose major works are displayed at Tate St Ives, is the best represented female artist, with 128 works. The collection holds 31 works by the German performance artist Rebecca Horn, 30 pieces by the Op Art painter Bridget Riley, and 21 and 19 by the Turner Prize winners Rachel Whiteread and Gillian Wearing. …