In older news… The Guerrilla Girls may have their own count in protest of sexism in museums, but art critic Jerry Saltz confronts MoMA on their gender-imbalanced collection and curation on the 4th and 5th floors, via his Facebook page. After his followers contributed to the conversation with over 500 comments and wall posts, Jerry had the opportunity to meet with Ann Temkin, the Museum’s Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture. Edward Winkleman’s blog covers the original article by Saltz, which raises some important points in how to measure and evaluate the disparity at hand. Do we consider just numbers? Or prominence of pieces, like Louise Bourgeois’s at the entrance of the 4th floor (which, on the 5th floor has long been occupied by Cezanne)? And what about the artists themselves– even if Temkin intends to re-install the collection, does she actually solve any problem if the artists who are highlighted are as obvious as Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, and Eva Hesse? Ahem.. that’s still just a one-to-three ratio of women to men… essentially no different from the 19 of 383 works currently installed on the 4th and 5th floors of the permanent collection– women representing just 4%.
I’m a bit bored by the conversation that was sparked after this about the value of art and how art made by women sells in auctions compared to how art by men does. Saltz concludes that if we can’t rely on an institution and space like MoMA for refreshing art, it’s up to the little guys, the smaller galleries throughout New York to bring unknown artists into the scope of “good art.” As Saltz used Facebook as a venue for this discussion, we’ll use this blog to display the treasures of art created by women mined from the internet and local galleries. Stay tuned.