June 1, 2019

Who’s counting?… Me.

I started this analysis last year, collecting vast amounts of data around gallery exhibitions happening in New York City, counting how many galleries exhibitions are by female artists
Published in
Opinion

Who's Counting Series Continued.

The amount of female artists that have gallery exhibitions seems to be a very omniscient thing. Does it feel like we’re getting better? That galleries are starting to diversify their shows with not only female artists but minorities as well? However, it’s hard to actually tell...

I started this analysis last year by counting how many galleries in New York City have exhibitions by female artists.

Why is it important? Knowledge is power, and if we don’t know what our benchmark is, how will we know if things are changing? ‍

If you haven’t read my original post then I encourage you to do so here, but I’ll also provide you with this brief summary below.

Disclaimer: I have not included any group shows for simplicity's sake and I’ve defined a group show as a show with more than three artists showcasing.
Vivian Suter at Gladstone Gallery

June - December 2018

In H2, 2018 (Early June until the end of December 2018) I collected data from 16 neighborhoods, 198 galleries, and 406 gallery shows, and this is what I found.

82 galleries (41%) had 0 exhibitions by a female artist
78 galleries (39%) had an exhibition with a female artist
29 galleries (15%) had two exhibitions by female artists
9 galleries (5%) had three exhibitions by female artists

Also, no gallery had more than 4 shows with a female artist (which isn’t surprising seeing that galleries have exhibitions every 1-1.5 months, so that would be rare).

Joan Mitchell at David Zwirner

January - June 2019

In H1, 2019 (January until the end of June 2019) I collected data from 16 neighborhoods, 202 galleries, and 476 gallery shows, and this is what I found.

78 galleries (39%) had 0 exhibitions by a female artist
80 galleries (40%) had an exhibition with a female artist
25 galleries (12%) had two exhibitions by female artists
13 galleries (6%) had three exhibitions by female artists
2 galleries (1%) had four exhibitions by female artists

Granted, for some galleries I only collected one exhibit for them this half, so I think it’s more important to look at, out of how many exhibitions a gallery had, how many of those exhibitions were by female artists.

For example, Perrotin had 9 shows, and 3 of those shows were by female artists...so they should have been given more credit than say 212 Arts, who I only have one show for (Phoebe New York). So by that logic, we have the following

Paola Pivi at Galerie Perrotin

Top Galleries

These galleries had a LOT of exhibitions and they included many shows by female artists. A special shout out to Perrotin who last half did not fare so well when representing female artists in their exhibitions.

Van Doren Waxter (4/6 of their exhibitions were by female artists)

  1. Anne Truitt
  2. Erin Jane Nelson
  3. Hilary Berseth
  4. Moira Dryer

Galerie Perrotin (3/9 of their exhibitions were by female artists)

  1. Aya Takano
  2. Kate Ericson
  3. Paola Pivi
Sharon Horvath at Pierogi Gallery

Runner-Ups

The LES is really kicking everyone’s a** I must say. These four galleries had three shows and all three of them were by female artists (100% shows were by female artists)

  1. Bodega - D'Ette Nogle, Doris Guo, Lydia Ourahmane
  2. Brennan & Griffin - Kristen Sanders, Pooneh Maghazehe, Victoria Roth
  3. Frosch & Portmann - Elise Enger, Julia Kuhl, Maya Brym
  4. Sargent's Daughter - Karen Heagle, Saira McLaren, Wendy Red Star

These five galleries had four shows and 3 of them were by female artists (75% shows were by female artists)

  1. Bortolami - Lena Henke, Virginia Overton, Leslie Vance
  2. Bureau - Diane Severin Nguyen, Erica Baum, Julia Rommel
  3. Chapter NY - Aria Dean, Cara Benedetto, Magalie Guérin
  4. Downs & Ross - Jacky Connoly, Mary Mito, Rutene Merk
  5. Nicelle Beauchene Gallery - Eleanor Ray, Jordan Kasey, Yevgeniya Baras
Helen Marden at Gagosian

Who fared the worst?

While the east side was a clear winner when it came to having exhibitions by female artists.

Runner-Ups

All of these galleries had four exhibitions and none of them were by female artists

  1. Howard Greenberg Gallery
  2. Marian Goodman
  3. Marianne Boesky Gallery
  4. Matthew Marks Gallery
  5. Metro Pictures

I will say Gagosian came very close again to make this list. If it wasn’t for Helen -- they had 1 exhibition by a female artist out of 9. This is probably the only thing I don’t love about Larry’s program.

So how does this compare to last year? It's pretty much the same...

The takeaway of all of this is that there’s not one offender and that we can all make a difference. It’s not just the galleries run by men or a certain neighborhood, it’s everyone that can make an effort to make sure their exhibitions are representative of females and other underrepresented minority groups.

For now, this is where we are.

Correction: It was previously stated that "Ashes/Ashes had five exhibitions and not one was by a female artist." - they had 5 exhibitions, one from female artist - Alix Pearlstein


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