The blind leading the blind: Predictions for 2012

Seven predictions for 2012.

1. Arts funding will increase, although artists will be required to consider how an art project can contribute to the economic well being of the community. In grant proposals, artists should start writing about
their art practices as �small businesses” that will help increase local economic
prospects. In 2012, grant funders will reward communitarianism over personal vision.

2. Sculptural objects, as opposed to installations and ready-mades, will make a comeback.  Look for a new generation of David Smiths and Mark di Suveros. But female.

3.  Due to the continuing decline in teaching opportunities for artists and the research
indicating that students studying art will have few job prospects,
enrollment in MFA programs will decline. But the good news is that as the art market makes a comeback in 2012, new jobs will be created in the art service areas�art handlers, gallerinas, art writing, social media.

4. Innovative organizations like the VIP Art Fair,which just got a fresh influx of investor cash, and Art.sy will begin to convince skittish collectors that it�s OK to buy art online.

Nicole Eisenman, Q-Guess What�s Still Relevant, A-The Blind Leading the Blind, 2009/2011, ink and watercolor on paper, 10 x 11 inches

5. Thanks to the popularity of relational aesthetics, performance and video, artists are more inclined to step out of the studio in search of collaborative, interactive projects. In the painting community this means that solitary abstract painting will give way to collaborative, and possibly more figurative approaches inspired by the amazing de Kooning retrospective. I hope the student at the Brooklyn College final crits who decided not to see the de Kooning show because he was afraid it would influence his work changed his mind. Today is the last day.

6. Increasing numbers of artists will travel from Bushwick  to Washington, DC, to present interesting, idiosyncratic projects…or maybe, now that I’m in DC for the next few months, this is just my own personal fantasy? No. Austin Thomas is having an exhibition and organizing a program of events at Heiner Contemporary this month. The opening is January 20!

7. Time will continue to fly at an accelerated rate due to the fast-paced nature of social networking media, Web 2.0, and our addiction to them. Artists will consider dropping out, shutting down their Facebook pages and closing their Twitter accounts, but they won’t be able to because the art world is too hooked into it. If you�re reading this, you undoubtedly know what I�m talking about.


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  1. I like your virtual predictions–I tend to agree with them although I'm not so sure about MFA enrollments declining. Sometimes it takes a while for 'reality' to sink in for those of us who have our heads in the visual sphere. Your comment about wanting to close down your FB page was spot on–how many, many times I've wished to do so, but don't for precisely the reason you noted.

  2. Hi Sharon-
    some good insights here.
    I particularly enjoy grants for incorporating artist businesses into the community (would have Loved to have received funds for my storefront in BKLYN or biz. in the Caribbean) but this is definitely reminding me to use this angle for my upcoming project in Cali.

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