Powerfully addressed race relations in the United States and continued his effort to create a visual archive of black American life
Made Jean-Michel Basquiat America’s most expensive artist and expanded the global audience for art
Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman
Designed the pussyhat, which spurred a sea of pink resistance beginning with the Women’s March on Washington
Her truisms became a calling card for the #metoo movement
A pioneer who continues to merge art and popular culture, she brought forth an affirming image of black pride and femininity
Rony Abovitz and Craig Federighi
Using cutting-edge augmented reality to change the way we experience the world
Founded the Memphis Group, whose design aesthetic exploded across popular culture this year
Sold a $165 million painting by Roy Lichtenstein to help tackle criminal justice reform
Reflected society’s deep sense of unease onto art’s biggest stage
Tali Gumbiner and Lizzie Wilson
Created the “Fearless Girl” statue, which became a symbol of female empowerment
Illustrated some of the year’s most powerful and incendiary magazine covers
Dana Schutz, Parker Bright, and Hannah Black
Ignited a national debate about who has the power to represent whom, and what qualifies as censorship
Photo by Michael Bilsborough. Courtesy of Parker Bright.
Leonardo da Vinci
Smashed records for the most expensive artwork ever sold, drawing international attention to the art market and art’s intersection with geopolitics
Provided a major new platform for artists in the African continent to own their cultural narratives
Used the vast archive of images he took as Obama’s chief White House photographer to make subtly biting political commentary
Barkley L. Hendricks
Left behind a proud body of work that will influence art and fashion for generations
Barkley L. Hendricks, Icon for my Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People-Bobby Seale), 1969. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Barkley L. Hendricks, Self-Portrait with Red Sweater, 1980/2013. © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist’s estate and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Drew record audiences to his traveling retrospective with his unusually broad appeal beyond the traditional confines of the art world
Provided a model for what the merger of art and activism should look like
Broke the record for Instagram’s most-liked photo with an image that powerfully challenges the predominantly white narratives of art history
Became the first woman to direct the Tate
Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images.
Commissioned video and photographs produced by Blink. Photography by Rush Jagoe, Emiliano Granado, Greg Funnel, Steven Herman, Alex Welsh, and Andrew Moynehan for Artsy.
Video header, in order of appearance: Portrait of Solange in New Orleans, Louisiana by Rush Jagoe for Artsy; Anne Imhof, Faust at the Venice Biennale, 2017. Footage by Peter Cairns. Courtesy of BAL Productions; portrait of Agnes Gund in her New York City home by Emiliano Granado for Artsy (artwork by Christo, 9 Packed Bottles, 1965; Mark Rothko, Two Greens with Red Stripe, 1964. © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and Stanley Whitney, By the Love of Those Unloved, 2004); excerpt from The Atlantic’s “How Pink ‘Pussyhats’ Took Over the Women’s March”; Women’s March footage courtesy of Patrick Gavin; portrait of Jochen Zeitz in his Richmond, London home by Greg Funnel for Artsy; portrait of Yusaku Maezawa in his Tokyo home by Steven Herman for Artsy (artwork by Willem de Kooning, Cross-Legged Figure, 1972. Bronze with brown patina, 24x18x15 ⅛ in. © 2017 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Roy Lichtenstein, Figures, 1977. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein); Fearless Girl footage courtesy of McCann New York; portrait of Edel Rodriguez at his studio in New Jersey by Alex Welsh for Artsy; portrait of David Hockney at The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Andrew Moynehan for Artsy. Video edited by Kate Emerson.
Artworks pictured in Yusaku Maezawa’s second video portrait by: Alexander Calder, Red Crescent, Blue Post, 1955. © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Henry Moore, Reclining Nude: Crossed Feet, 1980. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017 / www.henry-moore.org. Artwork pictured in Agnes Gund’s second video portrait by: Harmony Korine, Sullny Check, 2015.
Still portrait of Agnes Gund in her New York City home by Emiliano Granado for Artsy (artwork by Christo, 9 Packed Bottles, 1965; Mark Rothko, Two Greens with Red Stripe, 1964. © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and Stanley Whitney, By the Love of Those Unloved, 2004).