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Art Insider Roundup: Events That Shook 2023: Part 1

As the year 2023 comes to a close, it is time to take a look back and see how the art world fared. And like every year, it was not without challenges. While the difficulties that arose from the pandemic are now finally in the past, new issues were not few and far. The art world faced some crucial moments this year that might impact how the art scene operates in the coming years.

Let’s take a look at some of the events that shook the art world in 2023:

David Adjaye’s Sexual Misconduct Allegations

When it comes to modern architecture, perhaps David Adjaye was the first name anyone might think of. The renowned architect was nothing less of a celebrity in his own right, with his name associated with numerous high-profile projects. As such, the entire world was shaken when he was accused of severe sexual misconduct.

In June 2023, a report alleged that three former female colleagues had accused Adjaye of sexual misconduct at work. While the architect denied any wrongdoing, his stellar reputation took a nosedive. High-profile projects like the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Africa Institute in Sharjah, which David Adjaye was working on, cut off ties with him.

Controversial look at Picasso’s Controversial Aspect

2023 marked the 50th year since the death of Pablo Picasso, one of the most well-known names in the history of art. Throughout the year, museums and institutes across the world organized shows honoring or retrospecting the legacy of the modern master.

One such attempt was made at the Brooklyn Museum, where comedian Hannah Gadsby, curator Catherine Morris, and curator Lisa Small organized a show examining the more problematic aspects of the artist’s life. However, the show – titled “It’s Pablo-Matic” – turned problematic in its own right. As soon as the exhibition opened, it received some harsh reviews from art critics. The show’s organizers, in turn, fired back by attributing the criticism as ‘sexism’.

(… to be continued)