Thursday, June 16, 2011

When private collections go public

Here are the gender representation numbers for artworks in the Kaldor Family Collection donated to the AGNSW. They have been catalogued on the AGNSW website so CoUNTess got to counting the number of works by female artists (2) and male artists(194) collaborators (6). Now in all the reviews CoUNTess has happened upon none seem to mention the curious fact that in amongst all this "great art" — rubbing together and creating new histories and dialogues of cultural importance — there are only two works by one singular female artist Saskia Olde Wolbers, and six works by mixed-gender collaborators Bernd and Hilla Becher.

A large selection from the Kaldor collection is merged with works from the AGNSW collection and forms the opening exhibition of the New Contemporary Galleries. This exhibition managed to include 11 works by women, 127 by men and 3 collaborators. Del Kathryn Barton, Mikala Dwyer, Simryn Gill, Rosemary Laing, Janet Lawrence, Doris Salcedo and Susan Norrie.

In 2010 CoUNTess counted some collections and the AGNSW figured better than the rest. Not any more. In fact it was the Kaldor project that fired this blog into action. Do you think AGNSW will redress the gender balance in future collecting for the museum?