The problem of the representation of women in art is historical and continues to this day. Multiple international studies show this when measuring percentages of works by male versus female artists in museum collections, awards of scholarships and distinctions, as well as in a higher value of the works of male artists in art markets, such as fairs and galleries. Results similar to what we live in Chile, where women and their works also have less representation.
A study on the gender gap in the collections of museums in our country, carried out by the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage in 2019, revealed that more than 75% of its collections correspond to male artists and only 20% to women. On the other hand, the National Art Prize in Chile has been received by only 6 women in 78 years: Marta Colvin (1970), Ana Cortés (1974), Lily Garafulic (1995), Gracia Barrios (2011), Roser Bru (2015) and Paz Errázuriz (2017).
Recent publications such as “Modern. Stories of Women in Chilean Art 1900-1950” and “Women in the Visual Arts in Chile”, which she reviews from 2010-2020, show that there have been significant advances for women to occupy the place they deserve in art scenes and practices. An example of this is Chile’s participation in the XI Berlin Biennale 2020, which featured 20 heritage works created mostly by women, and the female leadership of the curator chosen for the Chilean pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale 2022.
While today female talent is recognized in multiple spheres of knowledge and doing, we owe a debt to previous generations of women creators who have woven part of our history. Contribution that has not received the recognition it deserves.
That is why the commitment of Fundación Antenna and Bank of America with the PAM Artista Mujer Award, where for the third year it seeks to recognize visual artists, with or without a career, over the age of 60.
The Women’s Artist Award has become a necessary milestone to reduce the gap for previous generations who did not have the same opportunities to be visible in the circuits where new trends were developed and recognized. The artists who have been performing and have won to date, have stood out for their great talent and originality.
We hope to contribute from private spaces to the public, while continuing to develop policies in pursuit of gender equality at the country level, in institutions and organizations of civil society and in the artistic world.
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The content expressed in this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.