The best and the worst of the art world in 2017

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Have you lacked the time to follow all the art world happenings this year? Then here’s what you need to know – Artsper has compiled a quick summary, from the useful to the WTF.


Exhibition of the year



David Hockney at the Centre Georges Pompidou




The year 2017 was filled with beautiful exhibitions, but we would like to highlight one in particular: the David Hockney‘s exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The artist who won a triple victory this year with his exhibitions at the Tate Britain in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York surprised us tremendously by his ability to move us, but also to renew and re-invent himself and to diversify. What’s more, David Hockney gave a painting to the museum, standing 4 meters wide and 10 meters tall and valued at 20 million euros – the artist felt that it would have been too large for a house and that its place was in an art institution. One more reason to love him!


Artist of the year


Carolee Schneemann



Significantly overlooked in the art world, the artist Carolee Schneemann received a lot more recognition this year, from being awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival to holding an impressive exhibition at MoMA PS1. All these events showed us how eclectic the artist is; she skillfully switches from performing arts to painting to digital arts, and through this art she expresses her anti-conformist stance and her feminist convictions.


Best sale of the year


“Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci

Members of Christie's staff pose for pictures next to Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" painting which will be auctioned by Christie's in New York in November, in London, Britain October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES - RC110F6E4140


How many minutes does it take to spend 450 million dollars? Twenty minutes! Sold for 450 million dollars at Christie’s to the Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman, this painting by Leonardo da Vinci broke all auction records, thereby becoming the most expensive artwork in the world. It will be exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.


Scandal of the year


“Domestikator” rejected by the Louvre




No, the “Domestikator” is not a robot sent to Earth to destroy humanity, but a colossal work of art that is open to visitors and depicts the doggy-style position. The work by the Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout was meant to be exhibited in the Tuileries Gardens next to the Louvre during the FIAC art fair. However, the Louvre rejected the work (which had not shocked anyone when it was exhibited in Germany), deeming it unsuitable for a place steeped in tradition and visited by many tourists. The “Domestikator” did not remain an orphan for long, though, because the Centre Georges Pompidou eventually welcomed it.


Most unlikely news



The sale of a work by Britney Spears for 10,000 euros


Capture d’écran 2017-12-12 à 18.47.31


No, you didn’t misread that – Britney Spears really did sell an artwork for 10,000 euros! It was for a good cause though: the funds raised were given to families of the victims and first responders affected by the shooting on 1 October in Las Vegas, which the singer considers her second home. So even though the work looks like Barbie packaging, we don’t hold it against her!


Fail of the year


Pilar found out for sure that she is not Salvador Dali’s daughter


This year, Dali’s corpse was exhumed and subjected to DNA testing. As it happens, a 42-year-old Spanish fortune-teller, Pilar Martinez, insisted that she was Salvador Dali’s daughter. Her mother had supposedly revealed to her that she had had a relationship with the famous Spanish artist when she worked for him at his villa in Cadaques and that Pilar had been born from this liaison. The Salvador Dali Foundation was therefore forced to lift the tombstone weighing more than a tonne and carry out DNA tests on the artist (whose moustache still marks the time at 10 past 10), but the results were inconclusive. Pilar therefore missed out on 25% of Dali’s inheritance.


Event of the year


The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

louvre abu dhabi


Designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, whose virtues do not need elaborating on, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors on 8 November 2017. It is the first Louvre institution outside of France and it already houses 600 artworks, including the famous “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci, the most expensive artwork in the world.


What happens only in the art world



The virtual work by Jeff Koons, vandalised virtually




There are things that are so absurd that they can only be part of the art world. This piece of news is definitely one of them! In October, Snapchat decided to launch the arty version of its app, which made artworks appear in augmented reality. An excellent idea for a selfie! The artist Jeff Koons was chosen to baptise the app, and 9 of his works were meant to be displayed in parks all over the world. The next day, the work “Balloon Dog”, located in Central Park, was vandalised virtually by the artist Sebastian Errazuriz, infuriated by the invasion of public spaces by virtual reality controlled by brands.

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