Searching for Meaning (aka Art Trends) at the 2017 Armory Show
Art Business

Searching for Meaning (aka Art Trends) at the 2017 Armory Show

Luke Butler, The End XVI (2016). Image courtesy Jessica Silverman. I went to the Armory Show 2017 determined to spot trends. That’s an honorable way to use this kind of experience, I feel: as a gauge of what the appetites of the art market are—or at least what some hopeful vendors think they are. What I forgot was that looking for trends at an art fair is like looking for patterns in a handful of M&Ms. Maybe the patterns are there, but if they are, it’s a little extraordinary—and probably because someone has been tampering with the package, or snapping up all the blue ones, or something. It’s suspicious. Still, trends do pop up from time to time at art fairs, coalescing as if by magic out of the intertwining aspirations of the organizers and the exhibitors, as they grasp at the moment. Sometimes it’s a surge in works from particular countries, like China and then Brazil a few years ago. Sometimes it’s a particular artist who ascends, suddenly, to prominence (remember the foil paintings of Anselm Reyle, the darling of the pre-crash days?). Sometimes it’s a certain media, like when arty ceramics was suddenly, briefly, a thing . […]

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