“Despite Fear and Uncertainty, Parts of Art Market May Benefit From a Trump Presidency, Insiders Say.” This bit of speculative reassurance, delivered by ARTnews magazine on Nov. 9, gave a good sense of where the soul of the mainstream art world — and there are many other art worlds — lies: in business as usual. Sell. Buy. Art Basel Miami Beach.
Can there be business as usual in the climate of racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia that the election exposed and fostered? Has an economic and ethical line been drawn in the sand between the art market, with its appetite for eye-candy, and alternative factions and modes of production, in whatever forms they may take? Time will tell.
Most of the 2016 art season predated the election but can’t help but be viewed, retrospectively, in its light. Meretricious events now look doubly so. Some of the stronger ones look more timely than ever. Here are some that struck me as strong:
11. THE NEW YORK SEASON YEAR SAW SOME FINE GALLERY SOLOS. Omer Fast (James Cohan); Rachid Koraichi (Aicon); Zoe Leonard (Hauser & Wirth); Hilton Als (The Artist’s Institute); Carolee Schneemann (Lelong and P.P.O.W.); Howardena Pindell (Garth Greenan); and an installation by the ineffable Genesis P-Orridge at the Rubin Museum.