Women Dominate the Whitney Biennial

This portrait of Faiz Mohammed, 40, and Ghulam Haider, 11, soon to be married, won American photographer Stephanie Sinclair the UNICEF Photo of the Year Award.

For the first time in the 75-year history of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial exhibition, women represent more than half of the artists on display. From the photographs of 23 year-old Tam Tran, to 75 year-old Lorraine O'Grady's modern diptychs, female artists displayed their work in majority numbers that actually reflects the population.

Was the decision to select more women than men intentional, and can the exhibition, "2010," be called what some are referring to as "The women's biennial"?
The answer is no, according to chief curator Francesco Bonami. Bonami told T Magazine that the nationwide survey of modern art was selected for its relevance to the current tenor of American art, which he describes as "somber and intimate."

And from sneak previews of "2010," it's hard to disagree. Although it is fair to argue that some of the work could never be produced by a man. Such was the case with photographer Stephanie Sinclair, who was granted access to the private lives of Afghan women that had burned themselves in attempts to commit suicide. Sinclair witnessed the desperate acts between 2003 and 2005. More than half of her subjects were between the ages of 9 and 13 and were married. She claims that her gender gave her the advantage over foreign male photographers.

In what other fields are women gaining ground? What other professions have women dominated where once only men held the majority?