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The Trends Most Noticed on the Cultural and Artistic Scenes in 2014 0

The Year 2014 in Review

On December 29 we published the results of our survey in which people from the world of art and culture told us what they thought were the brightest and best moments of 2014 in their part of the world.

Just as interesting to us were the tendencies, or trends, that were to be found in the art and culture scenes of 2014.

Art collector Alain Servais (Belgium)

The multiplication and standardization of art fairs around just one group of “traveling galleries” has annulled the status of Art Basel in Basel as something “not to be missed”.

The further expansion of auction houses on the turf of galleries, and particularly the introduction of “online-only” auctions by Christie’s.

Mia Sundberg, curator at Spritmuseum in Stockholm

The trend of drawing and works on paper has been going on for some years now. Many artists seem to be turning to film and addressing social and political issues through their work. Many work with simple, low-brow materials in making three-dimensional work. Someone said there is also a renewed interest among young artists in modernism and abstract painting. I’m not sure that I’ve noticed that yet, but I’m on the lookout! 

Dmitry Bulatov, curator (Russia)

The most recognizable trend today is the pursuit of regurgitating something that was already lived and experienced earlier. As it turns out, we live in the times of reconstructions and restorations, and that is the worst that could have happened to us. I would say the main trait of this art trend is the accessibility and standardization of practices that for one reason or another were lacking in vigor and internal meaning. The rhetoric of these projects and discussions usually get constructed on the concept of rejection and does not imply any means of new entities. In other words, instead of the active “live” time, which gets defined as a measure of changes in the artistic system and the artist, we are met with “dead” time, which gets defined by repeated events. A time for which there is nothing new and nothing new could ever become of it. Of course the similar “mainstream” (if by “mainstream” we mean a certain set of art practices and strategies) has an important cultural and effluent role, which is to rid art of the stable practices of the past. This way we can undo our banal perception of the environment, in which I see the positive dynamic of this process.

Olga Temnikova, Temnikova & Kasela Gallery (Estonia)

Talking about trends – I would not mention the post-internet, but I would say that collective artistic projects had the biggest impact on me – being together, sharing ideas. Great examples of this were: the monumental show of Cosima Von Bonin in Vienna's MUMOC; “The Century of The Bed” at Emanuel Layr, curated by Egija Inzule; Josephine Pryde, Georgie Nettell, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and others; and the stand of dépendance gallery, at Frieze London.

Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevicius

For several years now, the visual art world in this region has been focusing on its local traditions, exploring the view to the outside from a genetic perspective. In the long term, I do not think this is a productive tendency. Nevertheless, during this last year we have seen very successful retrospectives, such as the already-mentioned ones of Gustavs Klucis and Vija Celmins in Riga, and the Kęstutis Zapkus and Mindaugas Navakas exhibitions at the National Art Gallery in Vilnius.

Director of the KAUNAS PHOTO festival, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania)

Photography books taking over the core position in the exhibition of image art.

Lithuanian artist Robertas Narkus

Things got not only liquid, but also transparent. Finally, we are said to be entering a new era – the Anthropocene. Exciting. As the uncertainty about possible futures increases, I see a return to sci-fi and a new new-spiritualism. The queer is getting cooler and more diverse, while various science-art mutations are fueling the education scene. And also, various beats are getting louder and louder at the openings every year. 

Stefan Andersson, Galleri Andersson/Sandström (Sweden)

More artists are working with classical mediums such as painting and sculpture.

Lithuanian graphic designer, Povilas Utovka

I would say that the growing mobility of artists, institutions, patrons, curators, and other players on the scene became more and more noticeable. Consequently, there was a growing volume of creative output and ways in how it is being distributed, contextualised, re-contextualised and ‘consumed’. In many ways, it felt like the year of tumblr.

Estonian artist Raul Keller

I have noticed that the installation and sculpture are making a comeback with the younger generation of artists here. I see the focus on material and physicality and move away from purely intellectual/conceptual works. Sound is increasingly becoming part of the fine arts scene, but this has been the case for a few years now.

There has been a lot of debate on the sexual minorities and their position in the society both in the media and in the arts this year, I notice, so I see a lot of people are riding that wave.