Quick hit: Fight racism and sexism in the art world

It’s no secret that the art world has something of a diversity problem.

Courtney has previously written about women in art, questioning the lack of gender equality in the art world and presenting some crucial ideas and resources for female artists.

And she has cited some grim statistics, including the fact that only 8 percent of the work that the Museum of Modern Art exhibits is by women. A similar problem exists for people of color and the art world, with some estimates putting those who frequent art museums at 92% white.

Yet there seems to be no shortage of talented, ambitious artists of all different races and genders who are eager to make it with their art, and an audience that is actually clamoring to experience their artistic viewpoint. When asked to weigh in you overwhelmingly said that you enjoy not only seeking out but also creating your own explicitly feminist art.

So why is gender parity still so elusive in the art world?

Maybe because of ill-informed opinions such as New York Times critic Ken Johnson.

An online petition is calling him out for two articles which demonstrated startlingly racist and sexist generalizations.

The petition demands that the New York Times “acknowledge and address” Johnson’s reviews, in which he made a number of inflammatory statements, including comparing women and black artists to white male artists, “only to find them lacking.”

Colorlines has a good summary of the incidents, and there’s more analysis and critique from the art world here.

For now, if you feel strongly that the pages of the Times shouldn’t be used to generalize and discriminate because of gender or race, sign the online petition.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

Read more about Lori

Join the Conversation

Comments are closed.