This was 2020

Highlights for CAI an the IG Top Nine

Top Nine via the Top Nine app of @contemporaryartissue.

The year 2020 in retrospect

2020, what a year you have been. Dominated by the lingering effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic, it has been special year for almost anybody. Most of us have been stuck at home more than once with an absolute minmum of social contact. Others, sadly, have lost people whom they love. Family, friends, colleagues. This strange year will always be marked by the memory of the ones we've had to say goodbye to.

It wasn't a straightforward year for the art world as well. Artists, galleries, curators, collectors, museum institutions and more were confronted with commotion en consternation. In April, when the virus was raging and circulating across the face of the earth, shows were cancelled by the dozen and the world seemed to stop spinning. Breakthrough shows for certain artists have been postponed. Once in a lifetime museum shows have been cancelled – I still mourn by times for the shut down Jan Van Eyck blockbuster show in the Museum for Fine Arts in Ghent (BE). Some of us even lost their jobs working in the cultural field.

However, there is silver lining to be found in all this doom and gloom. The lockdown and health crisis called us to a halt at a time when life was happening in a world buzzing on at an incredible pace. This halt gave us time to think, reflect and revaluate things in life. We've been pushed off our plinth of invincibility and are confronted with our vulnerability and the fragility of our nature. The lockdown gave us opportunities as well. Artists found the time to work on their oeuvre, reflect on their work, read on contemporary art and maybe even write to participate in this written continuous discussion of art criticism and art history. Galleries and museum institutions have been forced to reflect and rethink their practices and public activities, resulting in new opportunities and even stories of succes.

One thing is certain, the world will not be the same again when we enter the Post-Covid era, nor will be the art world. One approach this new balance as an opportunity, as Michaël Borremans has cited in a talk show on Belgian state television: "Never waste a good crisis".

Contemporary Art Issue's highlights

All virus related stuff aside, 2020 has been an exciting year for Contemporary Art Issue. We've had been preparing our expansion from Figura Pictura to C.A.I. from January up to October, resulting in the official release of our online platform and website on November 1st, 2020. Contemporary Art Issue was born.

Motivated by the support of the page's loyal readers, we launched our first publication titled Apologia, functioning as our written publisher statement, our 'raison d'être' and apologia for our online and offline activities. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, there have been some delays in the production process of this publication, but with the new year, we are finally printing and the reserved copies will arrive at their new homes by the end of January, early February.

A third highlight for C.A.I. are the online articles, artist spotlights, interviews and reviews. We had some expectations concerning the pageviews and visitors on the website and we are very pleased and proud to say that we have exceeded these expectations, thanks to you! Some of the top articles this year include the last article of the year on British Contemporary Figurative Painting, but also others such as our article on New European Painting, the excerpt from Apologia titled Post-Conceptualism and Figurative Painting, the artist spotlights on Justin Mortimer and Alexander Tinei or the powerful interview A conversation with Szilard Gaspar : Transforming energy into matter.

Top Nine on Instagram

Instagram, where things have started. Although with contemporary art, it is not all about the likes and shares but about genuine personal experiences when being confronted with a work of art. Experiencing art from a screen has its flaws, but a social medium such as Instagram has great opportunities too. It enables the artist to show his work to the world.

We conclude with works of art. In the end, that's what brought us here. Below we have listed the so called Top nine artworks we've posted in 2020 on @contemporaryartissue. Enjoy!

Best wishes for the New Year!

Julien Delagrange (Artistic director)

and the Contemporary Art Issue team

9. Gideon Kiefer

Gideon Kiefer, The tiniest gloryhole in the world. Courtesy of the artist.

8. Sebastian Schrader

Sebastian Schrader, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

7. Sebastian Schrader

Sebastian Schrader, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

6. Xie Lei

Xie Lei, Blow, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

5. Daniela Krtsch

Daniela Krtsch, Untitled, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

4. Eugene Shadko

Eugene Shadko, Untitled. Courtesy of the artist.

3. Julien Spianti

Julien Spianti, Circumstances, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

2. Ron Hicks

Ron Hicks, The Embrace II', 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

1. Sebastian Schrader

Sebastian Schrader, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Published online on 31/12/2020 by Contemporary Art Issue © 2020

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