Goodbye teen year, hello twenties. Three trends we expect to see in the upcoming decade

Posted on Jan - 15 - 2020

Virtual Reality

Our 21st century teen days are gone and we now welcome our early twenties. As 2020 opens with a bang, a turbulent global political uncertainty and climate change anxieties, art can still be a place of validation, a celebration of human ingenuity and intellectual catharsis, providing an outlet for the escapist or a platform for the rebellious. Nevertheless, the art world and the art market are changing quickly, affected by the changing states of a globalized and complex world. Here are some trends that we consider will be present in the upcoming decade. 


Pervading Tech 

Technology is merging with art productions, and although this is not new, it will surely be further encouraged and become ever more prevalent. In 2019, new media art was displayed in major museums such as “The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics at New Museum and MoMA’s “Surrounds” show of 11 contemporary installations, as well interests in Artificial Intelligence and Augmented/Virtual reality pieces are on the rise and finding their way from institutional exhibitions to collectors’ houses.  


Furthermore, the internet will continue to be a fertile ground for art exchanges, where the artist and institutions will continue to embrace Instagram, feeding on its potential as a landscape of narcissism and a platform for innovation and communication. Young collectors are open to riskier and newer endeavors, focusing their attention towards social media to research on their own accord for new artists and trends. 


A Changing Art Market 

According to a report published by Huntington T.Block Insurance Agency, the art market will be impacted by three major issues: globalization, climate change and the escalation of art values. Uncertainties around major issues of political unrest and trade will affect the art market, which can affect consumption in places like China, the UK, the US and Latin America. On the other hand, some places like the Middle East, especially the Arab world are set to proceed to undergo a surge in the demand for art and cultural events, as The Louvre and Guggenheim set in Abu Dhabi, continue to assert themselves as new hot spots. Furthermore, prices for art will continue their upward trajectory as wealth increases around the world. In 2018 the art market was valued at $67.4 million by The Art Market 2019 report and will remain to grow as the new global wealth distributions begin also to shift towards China, India and Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, the role that Latin America will play in the new structuring of the decade is still uncertain. Will Latin America remain Michael Reid’s forgotten continent, or strengthen as a major player in contemporary geopolitics? 

Abu Dhabi Louvre


Alas, the dawn of diversity is beginning in our twenties! The Western art historical hegemony is being challenged by alternative narratives, shedding light on obscure artists and rescuing unsung discourses. Universities are filling their art history departments no longer with Abstract Expressionist's experts, but with non-Western art historians, with broader views and less emphasize on single artists. As past years witnessed, interest for female Latin American and Latinx artists will continue to increase as well as the attention for smaller countries in the continent. These trends are likely also to expand through museums and galleries, as they begging to include artists from the global South more into research agendas.


From that perspective, the art world looks like it will be colored by tons of uncertainty, diversity and technology in the upcoming decade among many other things, and although disruptive changes are not for the faint-hearted and traditionalist, they also are exciting prospects and welcome the idea of endless possibilities. Let's welcome our twenties with both rapture and a pinch of healthy skepticism. 

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

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