“When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice.”
Quote from Women & Power by Mary Beard (Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge
The great problem of art research: that art history as practice, theory and dissemination is based on one gender – founded, established, curated, written down by, and reduced to this single gender: (white) men. That is why it is crucial to talk about female artists and feminist work. They have been forgotten, they have not been heard, their works have not been shown or, as the French art historian Camille Morineau has said, they have simply been erased from history. It is about time to acknowledge gender as part of the theory and method of basic research.
Gender is not just a trend that fills in gaps in the history of art, but also an essential part of art history and art theory, on equal footing with new areas of basic research – for example, colonisation and race issues that redefine the history of art, forcing it to take a long hard look at itself and its methodology. Thereby, we can rewrite history so that it more closely reflects the truth about our past, while also developing new, innovative theory and research. Right now, art history is neither binary nor non-binary. It remains a monolith, a structural power and way of thinking, which the museum world never even questioned until about a decade ago. Most people regard Scandinavia as a haven for equality, but museum history is a deeply misogynistic cultural heritage – even here in Denmark.
My artistic research and work aims to investigate the power of gender in the Western culture and in the history of art. The history of the artwork and its function in society is a study of how we think, understand perception, gender and the body, and select, value and preserve memory, politics and identity. Since 2003, I have been conducting research into work and methods of women artists. This research stems from my deep interest in history and inclusion of diversity, and my desire to put an end to discrimination against women and to expand the field of art history. This interest was further fuelled by the excellent education at Goldsmiths in London and their specialist library: The Women’s Art Library.
In 2020, prompted by the lack of equality in the Danish art scene, I initiated a regular series of conversations with key people – people who are working to create real change vis-à-vis gender equality among artists. I interviewed the art collector and patron Valeria Napoleone, and the interview was published in Magasinet Kunst, CHART Publication and Børsen.
– In 2021 I interviewed Camille Morineau, an acclaimed curator and art historian, on the subject of gender equality in the world of art. In 2009-2011, Camille Morineau devised and curated the pioneering exhibition Elles@centrepompidou at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. She is also the co-founder and director of AWARE, a non-profit organisation, research centre and archiving platform that promotes work by women artists.
I am also politically engaged writer on gender discrimination issues in the world of contemporary art. My articles draw attention to gender discrimination in the world of contemporary art in attempt to catalyse balance and gender equality now.
Article have been published in Weekendavisen, Politiken, Magasinet Kunst, CHART Publication, Kulturmonitor, Børsen.
I promote women artists on the instagram profile @womenpainters
I came up with the idea of an issue of Magasinet Kunst (DK) devoted to women and gender and was co-editor of this special women in the arts edition. The magazine also included my critical essay on the showdown with the sexism of the Danish art scene.
To purchase the WOMEN magazine in Danish: email@example.com
To read the interview (in English) with Camille Morineau visit:
To read the essay (in English) by Augusta Atla, visit:
“I call bullshit on the idea that it takes a while to see change. How much more time does it take? If a new generation of art historians and curators have to be re-sensitized to this then, my God, We have amnesia at this point. It really comes down to people putting their money where their mouths are.”
Michelle Millar Fisher, Curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“There is a perception that change has been so substantial, when the reality is not the case. There is such a huge imbalance that some kind of radical gesture is required.”
Jessica Morgan, Director of the Dia Art Foundation
“Let’s take as our basis that men and women are equally good artists, and then say, ‘Okay, if they are equal then why is there this difference in the market?’ It starts with the galleries. They don’t represent enough women in their program. There is also a structural issue: you need to educate collectors and you need to confront them with quality.”
Marc Payot, Partner and Vice President, Hauser & Wirth
“Female artists and writers have been forgotten, they have not been heard, their works have not been shown, or they have simply been erased from history.”
Camille Morineau (Founder of AWARE)
“The primary ambition of AWARE is to rewrite the history of art on an equal footing. Placing women on the same level as their male counterparts and making their works known are long overdue,”
states Camille Morineau on AWARE’s website.
“If you do a Gerhard Richter show, people think it will be a blockbuster. It won’t be. Whereas Hilma will. Museums at the level of program and board are suffering from being behind the times.”
Helen Molesworth, former Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
“The explanation that women [are poorly represented because they] have often decided to leave the art world? I don’t believe that for a minute. I think there have been women working hard in the art world forever and if we haven’t seen them, then shame on us.”
Brooke Davis Anderson, Director, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Museum
Published in MAGASINET KUNST (DK), May 2020.
Interview with Valeria Napoleone by Augusta Atla for CHART ART FAIR, August 2020.
KULTURMONITOR.DK – text by Augusta Atla 31 August 2020 Contribution to debate: When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice. I was delighted when…
Interview with Valeria Napoleone by Augusta Atla in Børsen, oct 2020TRANSLATION: culturebites.dk For 23 years, the London-based art collector Valeria Napoleone has been building up a collection consi…
Denmark is number one when it comes to Nordic gender discrimination in contemporary art.Contribution to debate in the Danish newspaper in Politiken,15 November 2020, by Augusta Atla When it comes to s…
MAGASINET KUNST, May 2021. “When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice.” Quote from Women & Power by Mary Beard (Professor of Classics, University…
Information is what gives value to artists and their work. Interview with curator and art historian Camille Morineau by the Danish artist Augusta Atla
MAGASINET KUNST, May 2021. Female artists and writers have been forgotten, they have not been heard, their works have not been shown, or they have simply been erased from history.Camille Morineau (Fou…
Af Augusta Atla/ 9. marts 2020 KULTURMONITOR Kommentar: Som billedkunstner opdraget af en kunsthistoriker og fra en tidlig alder eksponeret for den vestlige verdens kunsthistorie …
Essay (Danish), Augusta Atla – MAGASINET KUNST (DK), Feb 2020 LINK: https://www.magasinetkunst.dk/Home/Detail/MTU0MzU= I min generation er vi som billedkunstnere, kunsthistorikere og kuratorer o…
Women Artists on the Frontier 17.09.2021 The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) has opened a new exhibition, After the silence – Women of art speak out. In her article, the journalist Anna Raaby …
ARTIST-TALKS on Women Painters (Talk, duration 45 min)
Via Farini in Residence, Milano, Italy
The Danish Royal Academy, Copenhagen, Denmark
Manitoba University, Architectural Faculty, Canada
Tou Scene Art Institution, Stavanger, Norway
Projektskolen Art School, Oslo, Norway
Princeton University, Architectural Faculty, NJ, USA
Venice Art Academy, Venezia, Italy
Krabbesholm Kunstskole, Denmark
TPTP SPACE, Paris, France
Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Banja Rathnov Gallery, CPH, Denmark
Kunsthøjskolen på Ærø, Denmark