Female contemporary artists - the next boom area for investors?

Works by female artists could be the next boom area for investors, if a leading expert in the field is proved correct.

"Attitudes are changing generationally," Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of post-war and contemporary art development at Christie's, recently told the Economist magazine.

"It wasn't long ago that it was hard to be taken seriously as a woman artist. There will be some remedial catch up before women artists have parity on prices."

There is huge disparity in auction prices between the leading male and female artists. Among the most valuable post-war artworks, none of the top 10 are by women.

Louise Bourgeois Spider
Louise Bourgeois’ 1996 work Spider made $10.7m in 2011

Louise Bourgeois' 1996 work Spider, which sold for a female contemporary artist world record of $10.7m in November 2011, is in a completely different bracket from Mark Rothko's Orange, Red, Yelllow, which made $86.9m last month, setting a contemporary art world record in the process.

However, of the male top 10, which includes names such as Bacon, Warhol, Freud, Lichtenstein and Koons, just two are living. In the female top 10, five are still turning out the works, including Cady Noland and Yayoi Kusama.

This indicates that the more recent works are among the most popular with buyers of female art, and suggests that when these artists are no longer with us, values will soar as collectors fight over the finite number of pieces.

Now could well be the time to buy before the gender gap narrows.

To keep abreast of the latest movements in the contemporary art scene, Paul Fraser Collectibles is the place to turn. You can sign up to our free weekly newsletter here.

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