From the Sugar Sphinx to Beast Jesus, These Were the 100 Essential Artworks That Defined the 2010s—Ranked

In case you missed it.

Clockwise from top left: Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present (2010); Damien Hirst’s “Treasures From the Wreck of The Unbelievable”; Favianna Rodriguez, Migration is Beautiful (2013); Anila Quayyum Agha, Intersections (2014); Elías García Martínez, as restored by Cecilia Giménez, Ecce Homo (c.1930/2012); Pierre Huyghe, Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2015); Meow Wolf, The House of Eternal Return (2014-ongoing).
Clockwise from top left: Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present (2010); Damien Hirst’s “Treasures From the Wreck of The Unbelievable”; Favianna Rodriguez, Migration is Beautiful (2013); Anila Quayyum Agha, Intersections (2014); Elías García Martínez, as restored by Cecilia Giménez, Ecce Homo (c.1930/2012); Pierre Huyghe, Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2015); Meow Wolf, The House of Eternal Return (2014-ongoing).

Over the New Year holidays, I published a four-part piece on the 100 artworks that defined the decade. Artnet’s Art Angle podcast also did an episode where we talked about my top choices and what it even means to do a ranking like this. (For that matter, if you want a primer on my pick for #73, we did a podcast devoted to it over Christmas as well.)

Clearly, you can’t take these things too seriously. End-of-year lists are stupid, end-of-decade lists are stupid to the power of ten, etc. But personally, I found this particular assignment—and very specifically the task of listing individual works that might serve as lasting symbols on the 2010s—pretty edifying. It’s been a decade defined by information overload, and focusing on individual images helps make sense of it all.

For ease of reference, and in case you missed them while you were doing better things, like celebrating the end of a decade, we’re putting all the parts in one place.

The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade, Ranked: Part 1

The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade, Ranked: Part 2

The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade, Ranked: Part 3

The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade, Ranked: Part 4

The Art Angle Podcast: The Radical, Viral Artworks That Defined the 2010s


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