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Artistes mais femmes

Une enquête sociologique dans l'art contemporain

Preface by Christine Détrez

Perspectives genre

Artists but women
A sociological investigation in contemporary art

Women artists are less visible than men artists in exhibitions, in public and private collections and on the contemporary art market. Yet, they are in the majority in art schools and almost half of the visual artists are women. How can we explain this paradox? Are women artists less talented than men? Is their work of lesser quality?

This book offers a new perspective on gender inequalities in artistic careers by examining the career paths of the graduates of a prestigious French school of visual arts. The book is based on a large sociological investigation, conducted between 2014 and 2018, which combines quantitative data, interviews and observations. From the school's recruitment process to exhibitions in galleries, through artistic training and the construction of a professional network, this book aims at accounting for the unfavorable mechanisms to women's artistic careers and at highlighting how some succeed despite everything. The book enriches our understanding of the resistance and resources necessary for women to progress in high prestige occupations.

This book is intended for a wide audience and will be of interest, beyond academics, artists and cultural professionals, to all those who wish to understand the making and maintenance of gender inequalities in the arts and the worlds of work.