The Decade's Best Art

The most important artists were those who made the biggest impact on other artists

Dead artists: At the beginning of the decade, you couldn't walk into a gallery without seeing some riff on Donald Judd: Judd boxes, Judd wall units, Judd furniture. Then it was Robert Smithson and entropy. Félix González-Torres is pulling ahead now. I think I took a photo-poster off a stack sitting on a gallery floor—the artist's signature motif, along with the candy landslide—just last week, out of habit.

Obama: One artist convinced me to give money—twice—and another nearly had me on a bus to Pennsylvania until I remembered I don't do well talking to strangers in the countryside about politics. Even after seeing the Behind the Music–style campaign documentary, this is one juggernaut I'm still processing. Are artists more center-left than they used to be? Did being pro-Obama count as political "activism"? But then, I'm not a political theorist. Just that other thing declared defunct (again) this decade: an art critic.

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