Viral international movement denouncing sexual harassment and abuse of women
While #MeToo did not dominate the news cycle in 2019 to quite the extent it had the previous year, the movement that gives a voice to victims of sexual harassment and assault continues to have a significant impact on the artworld. Patriarchy smashed? Well, no, unfortunately not. In the artworld, the movement has suffered setbacks: in September, the artist Subodh Gupta sued the Instagram handle @herdsceneand over anonymous accusations of sexual harassment, claims the artist denies; in April, Tate and the National Galleries Scotland ‘resumed contact’ with Anthony d’Offay, the veteran dealer who has also denied accusations of inappropriate behaviour towards female employees, published by We Are Not Surprised. Former Artforum staffer Amanda Schmitt’s case against that magazine and ex-publisher Knight Landesman makes slow progress through the New York courts. Yet there is no doubt that the movement has raised awareness of how influence is abused in the artworld and has contributed to a sea change in its power dynamics.