Make this test:
Write a list with your ten favourite painters: contemporary, modern, old masters… If you don’t have ten favourite painters, make the list based on the names that first come to your mind.
How many of them are women?
I’m sure that the proportion of men vs women will be higher. Why are there less women in the art world? Are women less likely to become notorious in the art world? Does society give women less incentives to make them become artists?
Obviously this is not a matter of lack of capacities and skills. Let the world be gender-biased free and the results would be different.
Check art auction houses statistics. According to a recent research made by the University of Luxembourg, women made up 16,9% of the 62.665 artists for whom they had data and women were only present in the 6,9% of the transactions. Furthermore, this study documented a 47,6% gender discount in auction prices for paintings.
The fact that men have dominated the art world (buyers, critics, art dealers…) has determined the perception the public and mass media have of art in its different forms. From my point of view, there has always been a quick response to link women artworks with decorative art. Women artworks had to pass a double check to be able to be upgraded to “real” art.
The Russian Avant-Garde trend/period has been an exception. Women and men benefited from the same opportunities and were equally awarded (or not) with the same recognition.
I believe this unfairness situation is nowadays changing. In a more equally structured world, women are becoming more and more present in the whole art circuit.