#GAReads | Can you name five female artists? How the art world is rewriting history
When Sydney-based arts consultant John Cruthers hires a new intern, he always gives them what seems like a simple first job.
Go to the 20th century rooms in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, he instructs, and do a count. What is the ratio of female to male artists displayed?
The intern returns and reports the same number: 76% of the collection is male and just 23% female. The Art Gallery of NSW is not alone: most state or national galleries across Australia sport similar statistics (the National Gallery of Australia admitted this week that just 35% of their Australian art collection is made by women).
Put simply, female artists – in the past as today – are grossly underrepresented.