Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On ARTFORUM's Best of 2007

The December “Best of 2007” issue of the Artforum, arguably the most influential contemporary art magazine, has just come out. Among the 19 individual whose opinion, one assumes, are significant within the field of contemporary art (the list includes Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Daniel Birnbaum, Matthew Higgs, Jessica Morgan, Claire Bishop and David Rimanelli), is my colleague and friend Okwui Enwezor. These Artworld Savants have been asked to list and comment on their TOP TEN shows of 2007, and Okwui’s list includes David Hammons’ show at L&M Arts, NY; Steve McQueen’s exhibition at the Renaissance Society, Chicago and the Venice Biennale; Chris Ofili at David Zwirner, and Marcia Kure at BravinLee Programs, NY. Thank God—or maybe Artforum had no choice—Okwui made the list of selectors, otherwise, you would not think that there are any black artists making important work today (granted that McQueen is also listed by Lynne Cooke, and Claire Bishop; and Hammons made Jack Bankowsky’s list). Which is why “The Artists’ Artists” section—in which they invited 46 artists to each talk about a favorite artist—of the magazine is so disappointing. Of these many artists, how many are from Africa or the African Diaspora? NONE! Artforum ought to know better than this; that it is almost contemptuous to not invite at least a couple of African and African Diaspora artists whose work have been very present on the art scene this past year.


Anonymous said...

Yes! Very neglegent indeed. Did you see Nayana's piece regarding natvie american contemporary artists at Artist Organized Art - how long did that take to happen? At least 2007 was a start.

Anonymous said...

Good insight.