In the current issue of The L Paddy Johnson does some expert crystal ball/calendar reading, and predicts five major art trends of which we're going to see more in 2012—including, crucially, polar bear art. Reading her predictions and looking at the season ahead got me thinking about some other trends that seem likely to shape the art world in New York and beyond this year, enough to fill a list...
2011 ended on a testosterone high, with huge retrospectives for Willem de Kooning, Maurizio Cattelan and Carsten Höller, and earlier in the year there were Francis Alÿs, Lyonel Feininger, Glenn Ligon and Alexander McQueen (more later on the latter). But 2012 (at least its first half) is dominated by women. There's already the major survey of Croatian feminist conceptual artist Sanja Ivekovic at MoMA, which will also be hosting a blockbuster Cindy Sherman retrospective next month. The Brooklyn Museum has three solo exhibitions by female artists—Djuna Barnes, Rachel Kneebone and Shura Chernozatonskaya—opening later this month. Finally, the Guggenheim is hosting a retrospective of the late photography prodigy Francesca Woodman in March—alongside the uber-masculine steel sculptures of the just-deceased John Chamberlain. Over the summer the Met's costume exhibit will show Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, and in the fall we've got Alina Szapocznikow at MoMA.
More Fashion Exhibitions
In light of the bank-busting success of the Met's Alexander McQueen retrospective, this is a no-brainer, especially for the Met's Costume Institute, which will open Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion in May. An ArtInfo survey of upcoming fashion exhibitions reveals that this trend is playing out beyond New York's boundaries, for the most part, at least for now. I bet that at least a couple other major New York museums will join this trend by year's end (let's say, the Guggenheim and MoMA).
More Bushwick (and Ridgewood)
This was a pervasive trend in 2011, often at the expense of Williamsburg, with art spaces like Nurture Art and Momenta Art heading east in search of more affordable real estate. That's going to keep happening in 2012; already I know of one long-time Williamsburg non-profit art space that will be moving to Bushwick (well, technically Ridgewood, actually) this year and I'm sure there will be others. And then there are the incoming Bushwick project spaces by Manhattan galleries Kesting Ray and Luhring Augustine, which adds some serious art world clout to the proudly indie art neighborhood. Look for other Manhattan galleries to do likewise.
More Art Theft
Doesn't it seem like more art is being stolen lately? Between Mark Lugo, Enno Tianen, the Brooklyn sarcophagi smugglers, the Franz Kline theft in Chelsea and yesterday's street art swipe on the Lower East Side, it seems as though thieves are following financiers' lead and investing in art. Expect more of this in 2012.
More Twitter Art
The favorite platform for new media and social media artists has produced mixed results thus far, but its ease of use, accessibility, interactivity and ever-growing ubiquity suggest there's much more Twitter art in store for us, and I'm all for it. Especially when non-profits like Creative Time and the DUMBO Arts Center are getting behind it, and providing broader support and exposure for an emergent art form that, without the benefit of substantial institutional backing, can often feel overly insider-y.
Bonus: More Dinosaur Art
What's even cooler than polar bear art? Fuckin' dino art! The giant reptiles are way overdue for a comeback, and I'm willing to bet good money that the apocalyptic 2012 zeitgeist will foster just the right mood in the art world for the resurgence of dinosaur art.