Work in progress by Sarah Sze, 2022.
Photo: Courtesy Sarah Sze Studio
It’s not an exaggeration to say that art history is being rewritten before our eyes. Museums, galleries, collectors, and curators continue the rush to exhibit and acquire art by women, people with disabilities, underrepresented artists, and so-called outsiders. This is changing who sees art and how it is seen. Previously discredited narratives are changing what art looks like and does. Prices are still obscene and unsustainable, even while, in the wake of prolonged COVID disruptions, museums are still reeling from enormous hits to their attendance. This, along with rising costs, affects their budgets and what they can do.
Yet 2023 is a year of exciting museum shows that will continue the project of bringing under-known and overlooked artists into the light, and of confirming the greatness of some bygone and mid-career artists. Museums will not be smote — even if you’d never know how fragile some are. As for those multinationals known as megagalleries: They’re here, get used to them. David Zwirner has a good podcast, while Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth have their own art magazines. (Hauser’s is really good!) I’ve never missed a show at Pace Gallery, but it sometimes seems so big and all over the place, I get confused when I am there. It’s the Fyre Festival of megagalleries!
As for the (my) beautiful dysfunctional family called the art world, during the pandemic much noise was heard about curtailing the nonstop carbon-burning global hamster wheels of the fairs, biennials, and other megaproductions. Judging from pictures of crowds at these events last year, none of that came to pass. People like being with other people. Antennae must be touched.
Andrea Frazer, still from This Meeting Is Being Recorded, 2021.
Art: Andrea Fraser, Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery
Rev up the right-wing outrage machine: The master of the “institutional critique” is back. In 2004, an hour-long silent video was exhibited by the artist Andrea Fraser; it depicted her having sex with a collector, who had paid nearly $20,000 for the artwork. Among other performances, Fraser has stripped while thanking patrons. In this mini-survey of primarily older works, we’ll see a newer video of Fraser and a number of women “examining their internal racism and their roles in white supremacy.” This could be insightful or cringey. Also on hand will be text-based works and other examples of her shape-shifting, provocative, staringly unfolding conceptualism. Art is a place for people to be free. Few have been as cerebrally free as Fraser.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Portrait of the Magoons), 1993, installed in the home of a private collector.