The Year in Art 2019: 5 of the Biggest News in the Art World

  • by Francesca Testa

2019 was one hell of a ride, indeed. With the beginning of the year rocked with shocking news and ending with just crazy-good (sometimes just crazy) news, it's never a dull moment in the art world. Here's a recap of the biggest news in art across the globe.

Cartellino Art Stage Singapore 2019 Cancelled
Photo courtesy of Art Stage Singapore

Cancellation of Art Stage Singapore

Just a few days before the event, Art Stage Singapore's ninth edition, founder and president Lorenzo Rudolf told all participating galleries to "cease all preparations" for the fair. Rudolf also released a statement stating. "The given circumstances, about which we shortly will inform you, unfortunately, leave no other choice." But a lot of galleries have found a solution, with people offering spaces for exhibitors all over the country.

Cartellino Ruangrupa Art Review Power 100
Jakarta-based art collective, Ruangrupa

2019's Most Influential People in the Contemporary Artworld

Art Review released Power 100 and a lot of people have climbed up the ranks when it comes to influencing, and of course, these names do ring a bell. Last year's number 13, MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry takes the top spot this year. Banksy re-enters the list #14 and we're seeing high new entries at #6 and #10 with academics Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy and Jakarta-based artist collective ruangrupa respectively. The Philippines also celebrates as curator Patrick D. Flores rises up from #97 to #88.

Visit Art Review for the complete list.

Cartellino Banksy Devolved Parliament Sotheby's
Banksy, Devolved Parliament, Oil on canvas, 2.5 × 4.2 meters, 2009.

Record-Breaking Auction, Banksy Comments

Remember in late 2018 when Banksy's Girl With Baloon ripped to shreds after being sold for $1,135,219? That moment was iconic. That's why everyone's eyes were at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art auction in London where Devolved Parliament was being auctioned off. Does it have a hidden shredder somewhere? Turns out, there is none but it did sell for $12,142,893. The painting with an estimated value of $2million broke all his previous auction records. After it was sold, Banksy posted a photo on Instagram with the caption, "Record price for a Banksy painting set at auction tonight. Shame I didn’t still own it."

Cartellino MoMA Sarah Sze
Sarah Sze, Triple Point (Pendulum), Salt, water, stone, string, projector,video, pendulum, and other materials, 2013. Gift of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Agnes Gund, Ronald S. and Jo Carole Lauder, and Sharon Percy Rockefeller, in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the International Council. © 2019 Sarah Sze. Installation view of Surrounds: 11 Installations, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 21, 2019–January 4, 2020. Photography by Noah Kalina

MoMA Reopens

MoMA did keep the works behind closed doors for four whole months as they undergo major renovations. Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and Gensler led the design overhaul for the museum. From June 15 to October 21, 2019, MoMA was closed to the public. Its 40,000 square feet has met a lot of changes, and an expensive one too estimated at a whopping $450 million cost.

Video courtesy of Time

The Duct-Taped Banana Comedian

Google 'duct tape' and you're suggested the word banana after it. Now, this has caused an uproar of discussion about what truly is art. Maurizio Cattelan's Comedian (also known as the duct-taped banana) was sold for $120,000 but performance artist David Datuna has decided to consume the most expensive banana in the world. Now, this does raise some questions and an internet sensation of stuff being taped or duct-taped on walls (and on people's faces too). What this banana taught us somehow is that contemporary art is as free as this banana goes (or had gone, for that matter).