10 underrecognized artists who made their money in 2021 – ARTnews.com

After June 2020, almost every institution issued a statement that it will make changes to become more inclusive. Their promises asked an interesting question: what would happen if museums primarily showed works by more colored artists and addressed the gaps in art history? In other words, what would it be like for museums to do what they should be doing all the time?

The good news is that art history is changing. The bad news is that it is slowly changing. In 2021, for every poll devoted to a buried giant of the last century, it seemed to hand in another, even bigger poll to one of the most revered white male artists in art history. Such is the case this winter, for example, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where an Etel Adnan exhibit is clumsily made to share the space with a Wassily-Kandinsky poll. Since 2010 alone, the Guggenheim has held seven Kandinsky exhibitions in its various museums. Until 2021, Adnan, who died that year, had never had a New York museum exhibition.

Still, there were overlooked personalities who finally got their rights in 2021 when museums began to change their behavior. With each of these showcases, whether as outstanding presentations in group exhibitions or as long overdue retrospectives, these artists shone anew and earned their place in the annals of art history.

Below is a look at 10 artists who have emerged from the shadow of art history thanks to major presentations this year.


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