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The Clock to La Côte
September 22, 2012 8:04 AM   Subscribe

The 100 Most Iconic Artworks of the Last 5 Years

Slideshow of the top 25
The top ten
posted by fearfulsymmetry (48 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

 
How did I not know about the MARS show at the park ave armory?
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on September 22, 2012


Can I just say how much I love that "A Dick Captured by the FSB", 2010 is number 7 on this list?
posted by saul wright at 8:24 AM on September 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm glad to see Ecce Homo on there at #52. I mean, ever there were an iconic painting...
posted by maryr at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Or perhaps it's only iconish?)
posted by maryr at 8:28 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is really great, thanks.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


1) Christian Marclay, "The Clock," 2010

Basically the world's longest Youtube supercut. Can I nominate the movies sing Baby Got Back edit instead?
posted by dgaicun at 8:36 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, iconic! I read ironic and was on the verge of losing control of my contempt.

In this case, very nice.
posted by cmoj at 8:45 AM on September 22, 2012


I just went through all of the 9 Eyes of Google blog which is just mesmerizing. Not surprising to find that it had been posted here before, but I hadn't seen it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:03 AM on September 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would love to debate the merits of this list, but were I to plop on my art historian hat (they give you one upon graduating), I would probably create close to the same list.
posted by xingcat at 9:23 AM on September 22, 2012


The Clock is fantastic. I went because LACMA was handing out free donuts, only expecting to sit through ten minutes, and ended up staying ninety minutes that evening, and then going back in the morning for another ninety.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:51 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


1) Christian Marclay, "The Clock," 2010

I love that the image for this one in the article is of Harold Lloyd. I used to watch Harold Lloyd movies on PBS, right before Siskel and Ebert's At the Movies.
posted by MissySedai at 10:02 AM on September 22, 2012


Somewhat surprised by no Banksy on the list. I obviously know nothing about art.
posted by doublesix at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


At first I was wondering where "The Gates" was on the list, but looking it up I see that was in 2005.

Anyway, I'm pleased with how punk the list is as a whole.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:54 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cool list! It's sad that My Lonesome Cowboy (nsfw) didn't make the cut.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:57 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've made it my new goal to one day see Flooded McDonald's in its entirety. I found what I gather are the first four minutes on Youtube, and it is epic.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


No Thomas Kinkade? What do they mean when they say art? What do they mean when they say iconic? Is Kincade's work neither?
posted by fredludd at 11:29 AM on September 22, 2012


I'm no capital E expert on capital A art ... but this speaks to me.
posted by philip-random at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2012


Murakami made My Lonesome Cowboy in the late 90s so I can see how it wouldn't appear in a list of the "last 5 years."
posted by RobotHero at 12:38 PM on September 22, 2012


Okay, from the entry on Urs Fischer's You

"... it was purchased by collector Peter Brant, who recreated the big pit at his foundation in Connecticut."

I would have loved to document the logistics of that. Is it necessary to transport the original dirt to a new location? Or is it not the same dirt, but it's the same artwork, because he bought the title? So if you dug a hole in the ground, it would just be a copy, but if you buy the artwork and dig a hole in the ground, that hole becomes the new "You?"
posted by RobotHero at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Basically the world's longest Youtube supercut

You've never seen it, right?
posted by yoink at 1:19 PM on September 22, 2012


What do they mean when they say iconic?

I think it means "totally epic"
posted by thelonius at 1:40 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


but if you buy the artwork and dig a hole in the ground, that hole becomes the new "You?"

Essentially yes, with the artists blessing of course...
posted by garethspor at 2:57 PM on September 22, 2012


I don't get modern art.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:03 PM on September 22, 2012


Blargh for having to re-pause the slide show on every image. Yay for the slide show.
posted by migurski at 3:15 PM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Technically this isn't modern art anymore. I'm not sure what it is, but I think Modern ends at 1978 or so.
posted by jeffamaphone at 3:16 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Recent Art.
posted by The Whelk at 3:22 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just the grammar nazi in me coming out... but artworks is not a word. Acceptable phrasings include; works of art, or just artwork alone (similar to fish/moose).

Oddly enough, Google's instant-answer feature seems to disagree, but all of the links point to the singular version artwork.

Either way, I'm just gonna hang onto my original gut instinct and go with: No, that is not correct.

You are now free to go about ignoring this derail.
posted by Blue_Villain at 3:38 PM on September 22, 2012


Can I say "arts"? As in, "lets throw the arts in a hole?"
posted by jeffamaphone at 3:44 PM on September 22, 2012


ooooooOOOOOOOooooooo

sooOOOOooomeone's not taking contemporary art seeEEEEeeriously
posted by the ghost of shakespeherian at 3:57 PM on September 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fellow GN here, Blue_Villian. I think you're going to lose on this one, but I'm with you buddy. I'm still fighting the "forte/fortay" and "iinfer does not mean imply" battles.

Courage, my brother.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 5:02 PM on September 22, 2012


Get the ghost of shakespeherian out of my office!
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:07 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get modern art.

I can't get modern art. Seriously. See...I live in this podunk midwest town and modern art only goes to the big cities. We only get post-modern leftovers here.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:11 PM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Past five years? Batman fights a giant, in every episode. Earth-ponies work harder. 11 is a tough year for a boy to adventure in. YyyyyyyeeeAAAAHHHHhhhah! Foxy Brown is Amanda Waller.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:14 PM on September 22, 2012


Artswork.
posted by RobotHero at 10:41 PM on September 22, 2012


My inner grump got increasingly sarcastic with each entry on that slide show, and seeing both that stupid Hirst skull and that recreation of Brian Haw's protest camp made me just confirm the bankruptcy of western modern art.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:19 AM on September 23, 2012


Strange Interlude: "I've made it my new goal to one day see Flooded McDonald's in its entirety. I found what I gather are the first four minutes on Youtube, and it is epic."

We all float down here, Georgie...
posted by Gordafarin at 3:00 AM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Loved the diamond skull. Best of the lot.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:11 AM on September 23, 2012


Actually, no - I take it back. The children's backpacks were the best of the lot, secondly the skull.

Actually, wait - the best of the lot was the Green Dinosaur erected in the middle of Central Park breathing Skittles-scented fire at midnight, THEN the kids' packs and THEN the Diamond Skull.

No - hold on. The serious top contender is the inflatable Madonna (singer, not religious icon) Concert, with the entire stage set, backup singers and lighting scaffold included, that was blown up and stretched over five miles of Manhattan skyline. Which actually turned out to be nothing more than a gigantic stunt ad by Virgin Mobile. That was the best.

But wait - okay last one, I promise. There's so many of them! The real winner was the 1,000 molasses-dipped, three-legged robotic Chihuahuas set loose in the MOMA at speeds of up to 20 mph.

THEN the children's backpacks, and THEN the Diamond Skull. It's so hard to keep up with this shit.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:19 AM on September 23, 2012


great post

count me in the "The Clock is amazing" camp. I watched 5pm - 9pm in one sitting and can't wait to see the rest when it's at MOMA.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:30 AM on September 23, 2012


There's some amazing stuff there, half of which I'd never heard of, but I could have done without the Hirst skull (yeah, ok we get it now) or Kapoor's goofy tower, or Eliasson's waterfalls (low ROI). Perhaps they felt obliged to include these artists but their truly iconic work fell just (or in Hirst's case, far) outside of the 5 year criteria.
posted by Flashman at 8:38 AM on September 23, 2012


I've seen bits of the Clock (about half an hour around 11am and then same around midday). I really want to watch it all some day... I've heard a radio interview with the artist, apparently it gets really freaky about 3am, as the number of films to choose from drops and the number of dreams sequences goes way up
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:48 AM on September 23, 2012


3 am's the midnight of the soul.
posted by maryr at 8:53 AM on September 23, 2012


Maurizio Cattelan's "L.O.V.E." would make a fine icon for the financial crash era.
posted by doctornemo at 1:17 PM on September 23, 2012


#10, Track and Field. I WANT one. Not for any sort of approved or approvable reason but because it would be the most death-metal Segway evar. I want to run over a squirrel on one. Is that worse than 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park'? How can it be?
posted by jfuller at 1:34 PM on September 23, 2012


> Ai Weiwei, "Remembering," 2009

The children's backpack one. Only #22. I did not know about this one. I am teared up down to my shoes and from now on Ai Weiwei is on my "living world treasures" list. No wonder the Chinese government is scared of him.
posted by jfuller at 1:50 PM on September 23, 2012


"9 Eyes of Google Street View" (#13) is fascinating me. The google van is purely passive in that it is automatic and takes ALL of the pictures, even though it's sometimes a spectacle in and of itself. It gives me the strong feeling that all of this beauty, weirdness, and potential and explicit horror is happening right now, but the clear reactions to the van and the visual glitches just never let me let go of the absurdity of these vans driving around photographing the whole world.

I'm also gratified to see "Hennessy Youngman"make the list.
posted by cmoj at 2:06 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


This (nsfw) is my favorite ART THOUGHTZ video.
posted by Rustmouth Snakedrill at 7:51 PM on September 23, 2012


It seems to me that if they are going to stray from the "works that pass through galleries and museums" idea enough to include Shepard Fairey's Hope print, the William Powhida editorial cartoon, and Pussy Riot, they might have also considered iconic recent artworks from other popular media, such as Terrence Malick's Tree of Life, or Jonathan Blow's Braid. I'm really surprised they didn't at least try to include Lady Gaga somehow as a nod to wider popular culture. Similarly, they're including things that have obviously become iconic primarily via the web, such as the restored Ecce Homo and 9 Eyes of Google Street View, but only if they fit within established art market criteria. So digital or internet-popular works by identifiable individual creators are in, but digital works by anonymous collectives (such as meme images like lolcats or "advice animals") are out, even though you can easily imagine these being as "iconic" and influential in visual culture as anything else produced in the last five years.

For me, two items really stick out as emblematic of what is wrong with this list, especially how this list deals with digital art. The first is the Ecce Homo restoration, because it's only there because it's so recent, and if they had compiled the list a year later everyone would have forgotten about it. It's not iconic or important, it just happens to be trendy. The second thing that sticks out is David Hockney's iPhone drawing. David Hockney is wonderful, but these drawings are not "iconic" any more than his fax machine drawings were iconic. They just seem stuck there as some kind of nod to new media. But David Hockney's iPhone drawings are the complete opposite of everything that is interesting about digital art and internet art. Digital art is not about drawing flowers on a computer, it's about code and networking and systems. Internet art is not about uber-famous art stars, it's about the power of collectives, collaboration and anonymity. But hey, David Hockney drew something on an iPhone, so it must be iconic! It's just silly.

Putting The Clock at the top redeems the list somewhat, though.
posted by oulipian at 7:37 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


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