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Artspace's 17 Most Read Articles of 2017

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Artspace's 17 Most Read Articles of 2017
Heather Cassils, "Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture," 2011. See "Three Artists Queering Classical Portraiture"

Looking back at our most popular articles of 2017, we have to hand it to you, dear audience. It's nothing short of inspiring to witness how our readers have voraciously devoured such a wide scope of subjects in such a diverse range of formats—from the artist-focused listicle (don't discredit the listicle!) to the brow-furrowing think pieces that ask the big questions of our time. These 17 articles reflect not only the interests of our readership, but also the issues and conversations that defined 2017: creative acts of Trump-era resistance; artists working from a non-white, cis-gendered, heteronormative male perspective; gentrification and "art-washing"; net neutrality; mass shootings; and art market darlings—with some informative evergreen content sprinkled in between. (For some more in-depth conversations straight from the source, check out our 12 Best Art Interviews of 2017.) Whip up some hot chocolate, cozy up by the fire, and catch up on the year's most talked about articles—and begin the New Year an informed, well-read art enthusiast.

 

Heading Into 2017, Here Are 6 Fundamental Questions the Art World Should Be Asking Itself

Before we jump into this, let's travel back in time to December 31, 2016, when writer Andrew Goldstein laid out some exceptionally hard-hitting questions to ask ourselves as we entered the year 2017. The culture wars today are still as vehement as they were when Goldstein first asked, "How liberal is the art world, really?" and, "What can artists do to help society?" As members of the art community, we're not sure we've answered these questions yet—it's worth asking ourselves again to see how far we've come, and how much work there's left to do.

 

What Could the Net Neutrality Real Mean For the Art World? 

We know, the term “net neutrality” isn’t nearly as sexy as the word “abstract expressionism,” but stay with us. The FCC has just voted on a decision to rollback Obama-era net neutrality regulations, spelling drastic changes for the future of the internet, and putting many in the creative community on their toes. Here Artspace's Shannon Lee speaks to some of artists and arts organizations with some of the biggest stakes, and discovers a silver lining.

 

Three Artists Queering Classical Portraiture

Despite the medium's supposed democratic nature, portraiture quickly became a tool of racial categorization and ethnographic "Othering." In other words, the photographic portrait became the means to document the "visible truth" of the differences between bodies. But today, queer artists are re-appropriating the medium in order to reclaim the right to represent themselves using very tool that demarcated them as "Other." Here we look at three queer artists who are "queering" classical portraiture in photography in order to challenge the camera's categorization of bodies, gender and skin color. 

 

7 Art Podcasts to Feast Your Ears On

Artspace just teamed up with the Art and the Abject, a podcast where artists and comedians talk about the intersections of their crafts, and we'll be offering you brand new episodes almost every week here on Artspace. But if you're itching for some additional art-centered podcasts 'till then, these seven offer the opportunity to eavesdrop on one-on-one conversations between legendary figures, emerging artists, and intelligent (but understandable) critics and historians. 

 

"Don't Quote Deleuze": How to Write a Good Artist Statement

Writing about art is hard. Writing about art that you made can be even harder. We hear artists say, “If I knew how to describe my work in words, I’d be a writer, not an artist.” While this may be true, what’s “truer” is the fact that at some point, you as an artist will be asked to write an artist statement—and whether or not it is good, will matter. So, what makes an artist statement “good”? Whether you're applying for a residency or grant, or you just want to perfect your elevator pitch, here are a handful of things not to include in your artist statement, plus a few tips to make the process a little less excruciating. 

 

The 10 Essays That Changed Art Criticism Forever

Following the Second World War, with the relocation of the world’s artistic epicenter from Paris to New York, a different kind of war was waged in the pages of magazines across the country. As part of the larger “culture wars” of the mid-century, art critics began to take on greater influence than they’d ever held before. Here are ten works of criticism through which one can trace the mainstreaming of Clement Greenberg’s formalist theory, and how its dismantling led us into institutional critique and conceptual art today.

 

The Artists Taking a Stance on Gun Violence

As headlines of mass shootings and gun-related deaths become all too frequent, we look to the artists who have, through their work, explored firearms, their accessibility, and gun violence to shed light on this complex matter. Here are seven artworks, made within the last 50 years, that examine the gun as a violent weapon in an effort to spark a much-needed dialogue.

 

Art & Gentrification: What is "Artwashing" and What Are Galleries Doing to Resist It?

We've learned from experience that art and gentrification get along like two peas in a pod, and therefore wherever there is a conversation about art, there is room for a dialogue about its potential to displace others. The least we can do is listen. Here Artspace's Jillian Billard reports on the "artwashing" crises in New York and Los Angeles, and speaks to the gallerists and curators who are doing something to stop it.

 

8 Mexico City-Based Emerging Artists You Need to Know

With the help of art fairs Zona Maco (in its 15th year) and Material Art Fair (in its fifth), the capital city has attracted a global audience for its flourishing cohort of museums, galleries, project spaces, collectors, and of course, artists. Though Mexico City certainly churns out some spitfire talent of its own (like the three Mexican artists on this list), it's also become an international hot spot, attracting young ex-pat artists like moths to flame. To introduce you to the scene, we’ve put together a primer on the eight multi-national, Mexico City-based emerging artists that you need to know. 

 

Three Exhibitions That Changed Global Art History

Nigerian-born curator Okwui Enwezor once argued that biennials can still be places for what he referred to as “diasporic public spheres,” in which the global periphery can have a voice in the center without being subsumed by the West. Here are three excerpts from Phaidon’s Biennials and Beyond—Exhibitions That Made Art History: 1962-2002 to trace the history of three exhibitions that changed global art history. From the first “Third World” biennial of Havana to the exoticizing “Magiciens de la Terre” in Paris to Enwezor’s controversial "Documenta 11," here’s a short timeline of the “global” exhibition culture we’ve become accustomed to.  

 

6 Black Radical Female Artists To Know

Following the debates about the need for intersectional feminism following the Women's March in February, the Brooklyn Museum exhibition "We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85" felt timelier than ever. Here we examine six radical black feminist artists to know.

 

From C-Print to Silver Gelatin: The Ultimate Guide to Photo Prints

Today, photographic prints can be roughly divided into two categories. The first, and the root of the medium, is chemical prints. More commonly, though, photographic prints are made digitally. Here are some of the more common methods you're likely to encounter, spanning both digital and chemical processes.

 

Don't Quit Your Day Job! 8 Famous Artists With Surprising (or Blatantly Obvious) Occupations

There is a presiding and naive sentiment that "real artists" only spend their time making art. Artists often avoid talking about their day jobs, fearing that needing to supplement an income by working as a teacher or a barista might project failure. This article is an all-too-brief debunking of that sentiment, detailing just a few famous artists—from Henri Rousseau and Mark Rothko to Barbara Kruger and Mathew Barneywho have all had their fair share of day jobs to make ends meet before risking it all for the love of art.  

 

Follow These 8 Artist-Run Blogs To Keep Up With Art Criticism Today

Artists have always written about art. And, like other writers in recent years, the internet has provided them a platform to do so outside of entrenched media. This opening of the dialogue has also provided some opportunity for historically marginalized voices to entrench themselves in more mainstream discourse as well. We asked each publisher about what they do and why. Those answers, because of their immediacy, are included in their entirety.

 

8 Artists Recently Acquired by MoMA to Add to Your Collection

If there's one thing that suggests an artist's market value is quickly on the rise, it's the inclusion of their work into a museum's collection—an act that decidedly marks the artist's contribution to art history as significant. Here we've put together a collection of works made by artists that the MoMA acquired in the past year. Get 'em while they're hot!


Body Politic: 10 Radical Artists Who Use Dance as a Medium

The major distinction between traditional dance (such as ballet) and the emergence of dance as an artistic medium is dance-as-art's reference to all corporeally-bound beings. The medium holds the potential to act as a form of subversion against oppressive regimes and capitalistic ideals—so it's not surprising that movement became a primary facet of artistic practice at the height of counterculture in the '60s. Fast-forward to now: still anxious, still at war, still confused, we are subject to a modern world that increasingly attempts to divide us whilst our physical proximity to eachother increases. With the aid of smartphones and social media, bodies that are unjustly mistreated, violated, or violently killed are not only becoming publicly available and easily seen, but also politicized. Today we constantly face the question: what does it mean to exist as a body in the modern world? Thus performative dance seems a more necessary expression than ever. 

 

7 Rising Curators to Watch in 2017

Though artists are obviously the ones making the (art) world go 'round, curators are the ones we have to thank for making their work visible, intelligible, and in context.  We've already identified the eight "super-curators" who have already influenced today's big exhibitions—but who are the next rising wave of curators who will shape what our museums will look like tomorrow? Here we look at seven exciting curators (or curating duos), cover what they've been up to so far in their (mostly short) careers, and share why we think they're worth watching in 2017 and 2018.

 

Let This Be Your Guide: 7 Famous Artists Describe Their Favorite Artworks at The Met

In Phaidon’s The Artist Project: What Artists See When They Look at Artover 100 artists reflect on the moment when an artwork from the Met’s collection overwhelmed their senses, inspired their practice, or changed their view on art making in general. The next time you visit the Met, use the excerpt below as your tour guide, and allow these seven artists—John Baldessari, Eric Fischl, Ann Hamilton, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie, and Hank Willis Thomas—to lead the way to their most cherished works on view in the two-million-square-foot museum. 

 

Art vs. Trump: 40 Creative Acts of Resistance Since Inauguration Day

The people of the United States have reacted to Trump's reign of the White House in a myriad of ways. But leave it up to the folks of the art world to get creative with the task. Here's a list of 40 responses to the Trump administration—big and small, individual and institutional, somber and funny—made by artists and art institutions in the U.S.

 

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