Test your knowledge with our recap of 2021’s art news...
Q1: What happened to the Banksy print Morons back in March 2021?
Q2: Which of the following is not a recent collab from the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat?
a) A leather bag
b) A scented candle
c) A coffee maker
d) Kids’ shoes
Q3: In December, Madonna donned a dressing gown emblazoned with insignia from which artist as part of an Insta tribute?
Q4: Which artist’s recent exhibition at White Cube Paris was wittily entitled The French Letter Paintings?
Q5: Tracey Emin said this about which other Hang Up artist in 2021? "She moved art forward by about, I don’t know, 500 years, a thousand years – and nobody ever gave her the right credit for that."
Q6: One of the Hang-Up artists welcomed guests including Lianne Le Havas, Anneka Rice and Harry Hill to their popular TV show this year… but who was it?
Q7: Put these Hang Up artists in age order (clue: one of them celebrated their 90th birthday this year; another had their 60-year work anniversary)
c) Bridget Riley
d) Grayson Perry
Q8: Which artist recently pledged £10 million pounds towards a new UK arts centre?
Q9: Which of these works from last year is NOT a Banksy?
[needs pictures of Reading Jail; two of these: And this:
Q10: The June issue of the New Yorker celebrated a return to post-pandemic socialising (ahem), with an illustration from which Hang Up artist?
A1: It was bought, burnt and then sold as an NFT by blockchain firm Injective protocol. Having purchased the print for $95,000, the group sold the token for $380,000. At the time, art critic Ossain Ward told the BBC "You can say anything is a work of art... but if you burn a Banksy and then want money for it, that ranks pretty low on the art scale for me."
A2: c) a coffee maker. Like his contemporary Keith Haring, Basquiat has featured in many a clothing and homeware collaboration since his death. In 2020, the artist even got his own Barbie – but there’s yet to be a Basquiat coffeemaker.
A3: Her old friend and collaborator Keith Haring. In early December, Madonna posted a tribute to the artist, including the words 'art and friendship never die!'. But it wasn’t her snazzy robe (emblazoned with Haring’s dancing men) or the pictures she included of her friend that caught the attention of the newspapers: Madonna was also wearing some light bondage gear and brandishing a knife between her teeth in some of the shots.
A4: Harland Miller. The show was a homage to Miller’s time living in Paris during the 1990s, which White Cube described as an 'artistic and emotional coming of age' For those of you who don’t know the double meaning of the term 'French Letter', we suggest you Google surreptitiously.
A5: Bridget Riley. Her tribute was part of a documentary on BBC2, which followed the artist’s career through six decades and included a rare interview with the artist herself from Kirsty Wark.
A6: Grayson Perry. There have now been two series of the show Grayson’s Art Club, which proved such a hit during lockdown, with a third slated for early 2022.
A7: In ascending order: JR (38), KAWS (47), Grayson Perry (61), Patrick Hughes (82) and Bridget Riley (90). Hughes celebrated a 60-year career with his exhibition The Perspective Paradox, which opened at Hang Up in October.
A8: Banksy. Back in March, the artist stencilled a man escaping down sheets of paper spooling from a typewriter on the walls of Reading Jail (where Oscar Wilde was once imprisoned). In early December, the elusive artist said he would sell the stencil that he used for the mural and put the proceeds towards buying the building and converting it into an arts centre. He told the BBC, "Converting the place that destroyed [Oscar Wilde] into a refuge for art feels so perfect we have to do it."
A9: Over the summer, Banksy took a 'Great British Spraycation’' peppering the UK coast with murals and causing quite a stir. At the same time, a Brummie who calls himself 'Disney' was also vacationing – in Torquay, where he stencilled two little boys (one scrawling Disney in red pen and the other carrying a bucket and spade) outside an arcade. These were mistakenly included in an article referencing ‘Banksy’s Spray Spree’ which appeared in The Sun.
A10: Nina Chanel Abney. The work was a celebration of New York’s re-emerging social scene after Covid-related lockdowns. Featuring a woman holding a martini (with one lined up for later), it nevertheless hinted of trouble to come – with a bouquet of flowers strewn on the bar whose heads mimic the structure of the virus.