“When men sign a work of art it increases in value, when a woman signs hers it goes down,” a new book reveals.
In a ground-breaking study, a Fine Art Lecturer in Painting at Lancaster University and author Dr Helen Gørrill says there are few aesthetic differences in men and women’s painting, but that men’s art is valued at up to 80 per cent more than women’s.
The artworld is, she adds, swamped by prolific discrimination.
Her new book, ‘Women can’t Paint‘, is published ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.
Museums, the author suggests, are also complicit in this vicious cycle as they collect ‘tokenist female artwork’ which impinges upon its artists’ market value.
Dr Gørrill’s book is provocative and challenges existing methodologies whilst introducing ‘shocking evidence’.
She says the price of being a woman impacts upon all forms of artistic currency, be it social, cultural or economic and in the vanguard of the ‘Me Too’ movement calls for the artworld to take action.
Dr Gørrill says: “We are embedded in a culture that calls male artists ‘Artist’ and female artists ‘Women Artists’. Women are seen as secondary and tokenist by the wide variety of gatekeepers that parade and patrol today’s cultural territory.”
This discrimination, she adds, is as result of ‘toxic masculinity’ that “spreads like a viral infection.
Through this highly provocative book, Dr Gørrill exposes the idea that ‘women can’t paint’ as a sexist lie and presents a solution to the problem of the ‘gendered glass ceilings’ set above the heads of female creatives.
Helen Gørrill is an artist, futurist, writer, editor, and educator lecturing in visual culture. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and has been commissioned by prestigious clients.
‘Women Can’t Paint’ is published in paperback by Bloomsbury.