Breaking the Glass Ceiling at Art Basel Miami Beach

Silouhette by Kara Walker

See art by Kara Walker and more at the Rubbell Family Collection.

An ad by the Guerrilla Girls posed the question: Do women have to be nude to be in the Met? The ad stated that less than 5% of artists in the Modern Art section are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.

Women face substantial discrimination in the art. The National Museum of Women in the Arts estimates that 5 per cent of art currently on display in United States museums was made by women according to an article by Eleanor J. Bader.

The Rubbell Family Collection exhibit “No Man’s Land” breaks the glass ceiling. Kara Walker and 99 female artists take center stage during Art Basel Miami Beach.

Kara Walker tackles tough social issues in her silhouette art. Last year during Art Basel, I visited the Sikkena Jenkins Gallery to see Walker’s “Sampler Booty Call.” I found the title as unnerving as the images. Walker is a great visual storyteller who pulls no punches. Looking at “Booty Call” was like peering into a slave themed soap opera. Each image was a sequel in this drama. A contemptible system like slavery can only breed a host of horrifying problematic relationships between men and women as “Booty Call” alludes to. A compelling large cut-out of a slave ship by Walker stood close by that attested to her virtuosity and skill in this craft.

The exhibit opens December 2. For information on “No Man’s Land” at the Rubbell Family Collection, visit


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