close
Wednesday April 17, 2024

Women artists break records, dominate art sales, closing gap with men

Women are making waves by breaking sales records on the art scene by hitting a whopping US$825.8 million in 2023

By Web Desk
February 29, 2024
A monumental Spider by Louise Bourgeois is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York ahead of a May auction last year. The sculpture, from 1996, achieved a record auction price for the artist of $30 million, before fees, and was the most expensive work of art by a woman sold last year. — AFP
A monumental Spider by Louise Bourgeois is displayed at Sotheby’s in New York ahead of a May auction last year. The sculpture, from 1996, achieved a record auction price for the artist of $30 million, before fees, and was the most expensive work of art by a woman sold last year. — AFP 

The groundbreaking shift is afoot around the globe with women taking the lead in whatever they opt to do. 

In an art world shake-up, women artists have broken records of sales as they are making waves by hitting a whopping US$825.8 million in 2023. 

This marks a cool 7% jump from the previous year, showing that women are grabbing a bigger slice of the art pie.

Auction houses saw a significant change, with women's artwork accounting for 13.8% of all sales—a big leap from the 9.4% share in 2022. It's not quite equal to men's sales, but the gap is closing, and that's exciting news.

The ascent of young female artists is even more remarkable as they are the true trailblazers in the art world. They're not just catching up; they're smashing records. Artists like Jadé Fadojutimi and Michaela Yearwood-Dan are leading the charge, turning heads and making their mark.

The post-war art scene is also seeing a major boost from women artists born between 1910 and 1929. Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeois, and Agnes Martin are stealing the spotlight, with their artworks reaching a record US$359.8 million in sales last year.

Louise Bourgeois's artwork 'Spider' spun its way into history, selling for an astonishing US$30 million. Agnes Martin's 'Grey Stone II' also rocked the auctions, setting a new record at US$16 million. The gigantic sales not only make headlines but also break barriers for women in art.

The buzz doesn't stop there—young contemporary women artists, aged 30 to 45, are stepping up. While their percentage of sales slightly dipped, their presence in the art world is growing. Artists like Caroline Walker, Lucy Bull, Shara Hughes, and Avery Singer are the faces of a new era in art.

So, why is this such a big deal? 

Are we witnessing a revolution in the art world, where women take their well-deserved spot in the spotlight? 

The numbers and the incredible artworks say yes. The art scene is becoming more colourful, diverse, and inclusive, and young artists are at the forefront of this exciting change. The strides made by women artists in various categories certainly suggest a promising trajectory towards a more inclusive art landscape.