Before our annual "Best 2021 Articles" list, we wanted to share some of our favorite artworks that we covered in 2021. These artworks and objects kept our team engaged in and excited about the art world and the daily work of covering it for our dear readers.
Gabriel von Max, Monkeys as Judges of Art, 1889. Oil on canvas. Bavarian State Painting Collections.
This artwork was covered briefly in the feature story Artists vs Art Critics: An Age-Old Combative Yet Symbiotic Relationship. And yet, it left a lasting impression on the team. As a platform that does publish critical reviews, it seems important to cultivate humility and maintain a sense of humor.
Miss Meatface, Domestic Dame, 2016.
Kat Toronto’s photograph as Miss Meatface was covered in the story 7 Queens Who Illustrate the Art of Drag. Though the team found this artwork striking in and of itself, the artist’s determination to challenge “notions of feminine beauty and body, tilting and prodding questions of dominance and objectification” made it truly unforgettable.
Salvador Dalí, Pisum sensuale (Cobea), from the FlorDalí series. 1968. Photolithograph and engraving.
This artwork was covered in the story Salvador Dalí's Surrealist Plants at Denver Botanic Gardens. We liked this work so much because it distills one of Dalí’s favorite symbols—the eye. Additionally, as a work on paper, it feels more intimate and perhaps even accessible than many of the artist’s other creations.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge, 1892 - 95. Oil on Canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago.
This Toulouse-Lautrec painting was covered in the story Green in the 19th Century: A Cultural History. This sublimely beautiful painting fully embodies the manner in which green began to signify the “dualities of inspiration and melancholia” during this era.
Robert Doisneau, Un regard oblique, Paris, 1948.
Featured in Robert Doisneau is the Fisherman of Moments at Palazzo Roverella, we thought this photograph captured the mischief of Doisneau—a personal favorite artist of some of the team.
Side View of Alla Shay’s Eternal Flower Ring, 2018.
This artwork was covered in Stars of Netflix's Bling Empire Talk High Jewelry and Boucheron. We liked this work so much because of the expert manner in which it bridges a gap between the worlds of fine art and high fashion.
Sotheby's New Bond Street flag.
This flag was featured as the final image in the story Shredded Banksy Sells Again & Sets a $25.4 Million Record. We appreciated Sotheby’s fun nod to the iconic moment that transformed Banksy’s Girl with Balloon into the anti-artwork Love is in the Bin.
Yayoi Kusama in Flower Obsession.
This still image of Kusama from Flower Obsession was featured in the story, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature at the NYBG & What She Really Thinks of NYC. As was observed by the author, “many of the works in the exhibition seem to simultaneously radiate optimism and obliteration.” The team was left particularly fascinated by the sheer force with which Kusama does just that in this still image.
Alice Neel, Margaret Evans Pregnant, 1978. Oil on canvas. 57 3/4 × 38 1/2 in.
This painting was featured in The Met Presents Alice Neel: People Come First. We liked Margaret Evans Pregnant so much because of the beautiful way in which it casually captures the female nude, motherhood, and true feminism. And, as always, Neel’s use of color is breathtaking.
Pixy Liao, Red Nails, from the For Your Eyes Only series, 2014.
This photograph was covered in the review, Pixy Liao: Your Gaze Belongs to Me at Fotografiska. The team found Red Nails particularly memorable because Liao was reportedly hesitant to include it in her portfolio, afraid it might offend reviewers.
Installation view of Nicholas Galanin, Never Forget, 2021.
This striking artwork by indigenous artist Nicholas Galanin was covered in the story Desert X Spotlights Social Issues as Saudi Scandal Still Looms. The simple commentary of this play on the Hollywoodland sign (now Hollywood), which was created in 1923 to promote a whites-only housing development, is not easy to forget.