Art Galleries Increasingly Dominated by Millennials

In further news: Caroline Lucas to curate exhibition; Australian gallery defends itself against self-censorship claims

National Museum of Women in the Arts, installation view, 2019. Courtesy: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C

A new report by the Audience Agency has found that audiences for the visual arts are younger and more ethnically diverse than audiences for other art forms. The report, which included data collected from 104 large and small cultural institutions in England, found that 41% of visual arts audiences are aged 16-34, compared with 13% for most artforms. ‘Millennials are unusually well represented in the Visual Arts attenders,’ the report concluded. In contrast, 41% of museum audiences are aged over 65. The study also found that ethnic diversity varies considerably based on visual art type. While visitors to applied arts exhibitions are 20% BAME, the same group makes up just 8% of visitors to crafts. The report also shed light on what motivates people to visit galleries. 45% of people visited visual arts ‘to be intellectually stimulated’, closely followed by ‘to be inspired’ (42%) and ‘to learn something’ (40%).

Former leader of the British Green Party and Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas is set to curate an art exhibition at Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery. The exhibition, which is due to open later this year, will be comprised of works selected by Lucas from the gallery’s collection of over 5,000 objects. In a statement issued by the gallery, a representative explained that the politician will be allowed to choose any works that ‘reflect and resonate with her passions and interest, from her environmental work, issues of climate change and effects on our landscape, to her love of living in Sussex.’ Writing in the New Statesman, Lucas said: ‘I’m incredibly excited to have been invited by the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne to be a guest curator of an exhibition later this year: a high point of the week was being allowed to immerse myself for a whole morning in their extraordinary collection.’

The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, is facing accusations of censorship after they declined to host a panel discussion about art and resistance in Hong Kong. The accusations come from prominent activist Denise Ho and cartoonist Badiucao, who took to Twitter to criticize the decision, calling the move ‘extremely unacceptable’ and an act of ‘self-censorship’. In a statement sent to frieze, the gallery defended the move, saying: ‘The NGV supports artists’ rights to express a range of artistic and political viewpoints. The NGV was unable to accommodate the security and logistics required to book this event with short notice.’ However Badiucao has hit back at these claims, suggesting that NGV’s decision was influenced by their exhibition of eight Terracotta Warriors, on loan from China. Speaking to the Guardian, he said: ‘Maybe that’s why they refused the event. But I can never be sure until they give us a proper explanation, which is what we have asked for.’

In further news: Howardena Pindell has been named as the winner of the The Artists’ Legacy Foundation’s Artist Award, a USD$25,000 prize; Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel has been appointed managing director of Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, and will start the role on 1 October (read our recent review of the innovatively designed arts space here); Various Others Munich has announced participants for its annual gallery-share initiative (full list here).

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

June - July - August 2019

frieze magazine

September 2019

frieze magazine

October 2019