Contemporary Art Collecting and Consulting
What are the most resonant works of art from the recent past? From among the thousands of individual works that pass through galleries and museums, which have affected the conversation in some significant way? Amid all of contemporary art’s chaotic installations and ephemeral gestures, which images have some staying power? These are the questions that ARTINFO set out to answer with its list of “100 Most Iconic Artworks From the Last 5 Years.”
How did we put together our ranking? First, we asked a broad group of colleagues to submit their nominations for artworks, from 2007 or later, that they considered to be in some way “iconic.” Then we asked members of our staff and a few distinguished outsiders to give the works on the resulting list a score of 1 to 10. Adding our scores together, we came up with a ranked list of 100 artworks from the last half-decade.
Contributing to our ranking were Ben Davis (art editor, ARTINFO), Daniel Kunitz (editor-in-chief, Modern Painters), Coline Milliard (editor, ARTINFO UK), Madeleine O’Dea (editor, ARTINFO China), Jen Graves (critic, The Stranger), Walter Robinson (critic/editor, Art-Rite, Artnet Magazine), Martha Schwendener (critic, New York Times, Village Voice), and Christian Viveros-Faune (critic, ArtReview, Village Voice).
What do we learn from this exercise? Well, for one thing, despite all the chatter about the triumph of the art market, it is actually not necesarily the center of the action here. Christian Marclay‘s “The Clock” was produced for a gallery, as was Damien Hirst‘s “For the Love of God” and Urs Fischer‘s “You.” But a great number of the memorable works on our list were conceived for museum shows, biennials, or as public art works of various kinds. Street art, or works that found an audience through relatively unconventional channels, like Jon Rafman‘s “9 Eyes of Google Street View” (which gained notoriety as a photo essay on Art Fag City) or William Powhida‘s “How the New Museum Committed Suicide With Banality” (which took fire as a cover for the Brooklyn Rail), were as likely, if not more likely, to leave a mark as conventional gallery fare.