Sexual Assault in the Art World

Every industry and field now has growing sexual assault claims, and the art world is no different. Here are four recent articles, feel free to comment of post an incident of your own. All comments can be posted anonymously.

The Guardian: More than 150 artists, curators and museum directors, have written a letter denouncing sexual harassment and abuses of power in the art world. It was signed by over 2000 people since its writing.

The letter comes in the wake of separate allegations against Knight Landesman, co-publisher of leading arts journal Artforum, who resigned on Wednesday hours after a lawsuit was filed in New York accusing him of sexual harassment.

It reads: “We are gallerists, artists, writers, editors, curators, directors, arts administrators, assistants, and interns — workers of the art world — and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilised, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities.”

We’ll stay silent no more over sexual harassment in the art world
Letters: We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement

The signatories of the letter, published in the Guardian on Monday, include American photographer Cindy Sherman, Turner prize winner Helen Marten, British art dealer and gallery owner Sadie Coles and Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco.

The letter, which 2,000 more people have put their names to and which will be shared on social media platforms using the hashtag #notsurprised, says that “abuse of power comes as no surprise” and that the request of sexual favours in exchange for career advancement was commonplace.

Here is that recent article with more than 150 artists and curators signed to say art world sexual misconduct is rampant – click here to read it.

The article about the resignation of Jens Hoffman, a major art world curator – click here to read it.

Artforum publisher Knight Landesman resigned over sexual misconduct.

Another article about the resignation of Benjamin Genocchio.

Article on Chuck close.

Several interviews with women on harassment in the art world.

NYtimes article on Thomas Roma.

Any comments on individual incidents will be published as their own category.

  • Barbara E Campbell

    I believe that this is the gist behind the backlash against this very prominent. problem created by those wielding the power and creating victims in their wake. Women are standing up for themselves against powerful men who have long abused their positions of power. Women have been dealing with sexual harassment in the work place for a very long time and it seened as though the creative and entertainment industries were the harder for women to get ahead in than others without becoming victims of sexual harassment and assault. It is good that a mass movement is taking place as women stand up and take their power back.

  • Sidney Branch

    Men are men everywhere. Nice to note that you started your essay with the role that power of position plays. However, again a problem (seemingly) that sexual mischief only occurs at the highest level. What of people like me who are not part of situations that are power driven and so side-lined for life. And, when will fear of failure stop being the reason for giving in to powerful folks?

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