Christmas has come and gone, and now so has 2020 (well, almost). And, while we can’t wait to see the back of this crazy year, we’re pretty impressed with everything the art world – and our art girls – have achieved. So, as you relax your way through the end of the holidays, here’s the N-Z of what happened in the art world in 2020.
N is for Networks
The art world is all about networking, right? And somehow, despite spending 99.9% of time indoors this year, art world networks grew and grew. There are dozens of art girl networks out there for you to join, but we have to of course talk about the launch of our very own The Art Gorgeous House. We’re here to support you throughout your art world journey, and also to connect you to kindred spirits in the art game. We’ve got you!
O is for Outdoors
While all indoor activities were pretty much cancelled, that didn’t mean we couldn’t get our art fix in other ways. Public art was a particularly big deal this year. From Frieze’s sculpture park in London, to initiatives like Just Kids, who have been commissioning public murals by artists including Nina Chanel Abney and Robert Montgomery Ghost. And of course, there was that infamous monolith too…
P is for Protest
Besides the pandemic, this year has been one full of political turmoil and artists have not remained in the shadows. Instead, they have used their art to make some noise. Special shout outs to the Artfizz X Blum and Poe auction, which offered powerful protest signs to benefit the #sayhername mothers network, including artworks by the likes of Billie Eilish and Cardi B.
And you thought we’d say quarantine! So many amazing art world women have remained on top this year. From new work by the likes of Tracey Emin and Marina Abramovic, to amazing new initiatives to make the art world more inclusive by the likes of Destinee Ross-Sutton and Ebony L. Haynes. And let’s not forget those artrepreneurs who started businesses in the middle of the pandemic. Huge shout outs to Barbora Pulponova and Samantha Picard and Ines Hutchinson Uzelli for starting EDUART EXPERIENCE and The Artsphere when the world was upside down!
R is for Resilience
How amazing has the art world been at adapting in a time of crisis?! Art fairs have gone online, exhibitions have restructured themselves, and our art squad have proved that time and time again they are able to adjust to new situations.
S is for Support
While we could have all gone indoors and focused only on ourselves, most of us did the very opposite. Artists did their best to look out for one another too, supporting each other online and giving shout-outs to their artist pals. We especially loved the Artist Support Pledge. Started by artist Matthew Burrows, it has quickly become a global support network, and for good reason – it helps artists make money while also promoting their work. To take part, artists post images of work for sale (for no more than £200) using the hashtag #artistsupportpledge on Instagram. If people are interested, they can DM the artist directly to enquire about and buy the work. Once the artist reaches £1,000 of sales, they support their fellow artists by pledging to buy £200 of work from another artist. The true definition of a sweet deal!
T is for Teamlab
teamLab seemed to constantly be in the news this year! The collective brought a sauna into their work at Takeo Hot Springs, and they’re also set to take over Japan’s historic Kairakuen Garden. If they managed to work on this during a global pandemic, we can’t wait to see what they pull off in 2021.
U is for U Got This
How many times did you have a mental breakdown this year? Don’t worry, we won’t judge. But look at you now! For everyone reading this, you survived a seriously tumultuous year, and if you can do that, you can do anything. We believe in you!
V is for Viewing Rooms
Who knew that Frieze via laptop would be the norm in 2020? Nobody was going to let a little virus get in the way of our favourite fairs. And, even though we miss the IRL events, we’re glad that the art world was able to adapt for our new digital era.
W is for Working From Home
It’s no secret that the art squad is a sociable bunch. The idea of being stuck indoors was not really something most of us considered in the past, but it seems like we’re finally getting the hang of it. While we do miss our coffee breaks, we must admit that working in our pyjamas has its perks!
X is for Cancellations And Throwing The Calendar Out Of The Window
When Art Basel was cancelled we all thought the world was over. But then Frieze followed suit, as did Venice and then your holiday went down the toilet too. But despite all this upheaval, somehow we’re not doing as badly as you thought you would, right? Perhaps throwing out the calendar every once in a while isn’t such a bad thing…
Y is for YES, It’s Finally Over!
It’s been such a big year in so many ways. While we’re proud and should celebrate for somehow making it through, we would be lying if we were saying that we’re not glad it’s finally over.
Z is for Zoom
Half of us had never even used the Zoom app 12 months ago, but now it’s almost as important as art gal fave Instagram. Online conferencing is the new normal, though we can’t say that we’ll be glad to see the end of it!
Text Lizzy Vartanian