As time is running out for 2020, it seems appropriate to look back on the year with just a few clicks. In other words, we are reviewing articles that Art critic readers were the most interested during the year. From activism in art and early exhibitions, to the intricacies of the art market and Wolfgang Beltracchi, here are 10 of the most viewed articles from THAT This year:
“Safety Match”: an animation helping people to better understand social distancing
An animation created by Juan Declan and Valentina Izaguirre cleverly used matches to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of social distancing. The video, titled Safety match, captivated the audience here on THAT, on Twitter, Instagram and beyond. Shared by American TV personality and journalist Katie Couric, Safety match has garnered over a million views on Instagram alone and nine months later, her post is more important than ever.
The emperor has no clothes: scams and scams drive up art prices
Just before the art world was turned upside down by the pandemic, THAT examined the intricacies of the art market and why extraordinary prices have become the norm at auction. From phantom bidders and backers to backstage collusion and money laundering, the art market sees it all and its lack of transparency keeps collectors and artists on their toes.
Banksy’s proposal on what to do with the overturned Bristol statue of slave trader Edward Colston
2020 has been a busy year for the elusive Bristol-based artist Banksy and in June the artist weighed in on what is expected to replace a statue of Edward Colston, a 17eslave trader of the century. During a Black Lives Matter protest in June, protesters knocked over the Colston statue and rolled it into Bristol Harbor. Banksy considered repositioning the original statue with the addition of the protesters who shot it down, commemorating June 7e events.
The Long Game: how Wolfgang Beltracchi fooled the art world
In a year where art theft has made headlines more times than many would like, it’s no surprise that counterfeiting art is also a topic of interest, and you can’t speak counterfeit without covering Wolfgang Beltracchi. THAT covered the story of the infamous forger, how Beltracchi was born, his downfall and his legacy. It might seem like the art world today would be impervious to such an incredible, movie-worthy scam, but in fact, it might not be at all.
The biggest exhibitions in the world in 2020
Oh, we were hopeful and at the start of the year there was a lot to look forward to. From a swan song by Christo who would have achieved a lifelong vision of the artist, who died this year, and his late wife, to the first exhibition of works by Artemisia Gentileschi at the National Gallery in London. Sadly, all of the exhibits covered were affected by the pandemic but hope for the year was palpable. It’s a reminder of the optimism that usually accompanies the start of a new year, which will be somewhat tempered as 2021 approaches.
An unusual portrait of Van Gogh from 1889 turned out to be a self-portrait
The Van Gogh Museum determined that a portrait of the artist was “unmistakably” created by van Gogh himself. Painted in 1889, the painting was attributed to the artist and acquired by the Nasjonalmuseet collection in Oslo. However, since the 1970s, a question mark has arisen as to who created the work. After extensive research, the painting was again named van Gogh and is now believed to have been created while the artist was suffering from an attack of psychosis.
“Propped” by Jenny Saville: a feminine value on the art market
When a self-portrait of Jenny Saville sold for £ 9.5million at Sotheby’s, it broke the record for the most expensive work by a living artist. But, he also brought up the subject of women in art, which had gained momentum in recent years, and the glass ceiling which has not yet been totally shattered. Saville’s success highlighted the lack of women – as artists and not as muses – represented in museums, galleries and the art market.
Where activism and art intersect
The summer brought a lot of unrest as Black Lives Matter protesters rallied around the world against a wave of police violence. By covering activism, THAT looked at how she and art come together and some of the artists whose works are particularly poignant. From climate change and the lived experiences of people of color to the AIDS epidemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic, artists have weighed in and THAT the readers were there for that.
A lesson on the Camera Obscura
The camera obscura can be a bit… obscure, a pun intended, when it comes to how it works. It is one of those contraptions that come up often in the art, but its operation is not that simple. THAT shed light on how the camera obscura works and discussed some of the ways it has been used and by whom, as well as how to make your own camera obscura in your own home.
A quick look at the Crazy Horse Memorial taking shape in South Dakota
While Mount Rushmore is well known in the United States and around the world, an even larger depiction of Crazy Horse is much less well known. The sculpture of the famous warrior and leader has been under construction for over 70 years and has drawn crowds and critics. Located just 17 miles from Mount Rushmore, the story of the Crazy Horse Memorial was particularly popular among THAT readers.