Top 25 Black Female Artists to Collect

It’s no secret that the art market has historically been a white male-dominated domain. According to Artnet, more than $196.6 billion has been spent on art at auction between 2008 and the first five months of 2019. Of this, work made by women accounts for just $4 billion—around 2 percent. Even lower on the totem pole are black women. The market for art by women is not only smaller, it is also disproportionately concentrated on a few artists. Just five account for $1.6 billion of the $4 billion total spent on work by women over the past 11.5 years. That 40.7 percent market share was split between, in descending order, Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Agnes Martin.

However, if you take away the top five female artists, in essence, nothing has changed. While the percentage of minority women artists in the market remains almost non-existent, over the past several years, black women artists in particular have been generating more attention in the art world despite a predominantly white art scene. With all the protests and political chaos over the past few days, we decided to post a list of our favorite black female artists to collect. From abstract portraiture to illustrated fabrics, printmaking and textiles, these women demolish the harsh stereotypes about female artists’ talent in wider terms.

1. Lina Iris Viktor

Lina Iris Viktor, Syzygy (2015)

2. Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akuniyiki Crosby, I Refuse to be Invisible (2010)

3. Toyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Paris Apartment (2016)

4. Deborah Roberts

Deborah Roberts, Political Lambs in a Wolf’s World (2018)

5. Asuka Anastacia Ogawa

Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Amarelo (2018)

6. Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid, 1792 (2015)

7. Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold, Jazz Series: Mama Can Sing, Papa Can Blow #8: Don’t Wanna Love You Like I Do (2007)

8. Genesis Tramaine

Genesis Tramaine, Chasing Pearls (2020)

9. Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self, Out of Body (2015)

10. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, To Douse the Devil for a Ducat (2015)

11. Nina Chanel Abney

Nina Chanel Abney, #21 (2018)

12. Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas, La leçon d’amour (2018)

13. Cassi Namoda

Cassi Namoda, Ice Cream in Mozambique (2018)

14. Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler, Broom Jumpers (2019)

15. Jordan Casteel

Jordan Casteel, Nights in Harlem: Zen (2019)

16. Emma Amos

Emma Amos, Seated Figure and Nude (1966)

17. Tawny Chatmon

Tawny Chatmon, Untitled (2019)

18. Amy Sherald

Amy Sherald, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be (Self-imagined atlas) (2018)

19. Aïda Muluneh

Aïda Muluneh, The American Dream (2017)

20. Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson, Unanswerable (Detail) (2018)

21. Lois Mailou Jones

Lois Mailou Jones, La Baker (1977)

22. Gwendolyn Knight

Gwendolyn Knight, Girl (Self-Portrait) (2017)

23. Harmonia Rosales

Harmonia Rosales, Our Lady of Regla (2019)

24. Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas, Scarlet Sage Dancing a Whirling Dervish (1976)

25. Calida Rawles

Calida Rawles, Lost in the Shuffle (2019)
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