Bourgeois herself set the record for a living female artist in May this year when one of her spiders sold in Paris for £2.3m.The Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova, who died in 1962, holds the record for the most expensive female artist sold at auction, with her Les Fleurs selling for £5.5m at Christie's in June.Throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, women artists were praised by male contemporaries. Women make up 50 per cent or more of classes at art school. Maybe it's something to do with bearing children." Mr Wirth, however, believes things could change.
Time and time again I see or hear about girls who allow a guy to date them for three or four years in their twenties without proposing. I understand that these girls are holding out in the hope of eventually getting a proposal, but they don't give enough consideration to the possibility that they'll be strung along for another two or three years, only to have him decide that he wants someone else - or worse yet, someone younger."An artist's gender should have nothing to do with their market value.I see this happen with the major artists we represent, such as Bourgeois, Joan Mitchell and Eva Hesse, who are exceptionally high-ranking artists." This week saw a new record price for the female British artist Bridget Riley, who sold for £2.5m at Sotheby's.Yet this pales in comparison with the £43m made by Bacon's Triptych, 1976 in May – the most expensive piece of contemporary art sold at auction.Mr Wirth complained that, while even the best-known female artists sell for around £2m-3m, lesser male artists make more money at auction: "Surely the art market, of all places, should be free of such prejudices.