Hyperallergic’s 20 Most Read Stories of 2023

Well, 2023 was quite a year. For our part, we are proud of our reporting and the critical lens we brought to the world of art, and that we found and published so many stories you wanted to read and share. As the year comes to a close, we wanted to take a look back at some of the most popular Hyperallergic stories you read this year.

This list is only a sample of the work Hyperallergic publishes daily. Over the past year alone, we published over 2,245 stories, sent over 50 million individual emails, and reached over 11 million visitors and many more on social media. In 2023, we published hundreds of reviews, spotlighted dozens of queer and transgender artists, expanded our monthly list of opportunities, and launched a new Art Crossword series.

Don’t forget to also check out our roundup of this year’s wildest art stories — some of which are hard to believe were real.

None of this would have been possible without the Hyperallergic Members who support our work and help us keep it free and accessible to all. If you are not already a member, please consider supporting our independent journalism in 2024 by joining today.

Hyperallergic’s 20 Most Read Stories of 2023

(in ascending order by total views)

20. What’s Really Luring New York City’s Galleries to Tribeca? by Aaron Short
Dozens of galleries have sprouted between Canal and Chambers Streets and west of Lafayette, one of NYC’s priciest neighborhoods. What gives?

19. Artists Say They’re Being Punished for Supporting Gaza Ceasefire by Elaine Velie and Maya Pontone
Around the world, the cultural community has seen events canceled and artworks returned after expressing solidarity with Palestine.

18. Finally, a Movie That Understands the Lives of Artists by Kealey Boyd
Showing Up, directed by Kelly Reichardt, uniquely tells the story of an artist working far from any monetary goals or God complex.

17. Shall I Condemn Myself a Little for You? by Dread Scott
Behind the endless demands to “condemn Hamas” is a strategy to silence and dehumanize Palestinians and their supporters.

16. The Complicated Legacy of Barbie in Art by Elaine Velie
Long before Greta Gerwig’s movie, artists were critiquing Barbie’s influence on women — and Mattel didn’t always approve.

15. Why You Should Go See Hannah Gadsby’s It’s Pablo-matic by Barbara Pollack
The male-dominated art establishment has always used Pablo Picasso’s “genius” to marginalize women. On the 50th anniversary of his death, this is the only show to challenge that.

14. Archaeologists Find Hidden Chambers in Pyramid of Egyptian Pharaoh by Rhea Nayyar
The eight rooms were likely used to store funerary equipment for Sahura, the second pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty.

13. Met Museum Acquires Rare 19th-Century Portrait of Enslaved Child by Elaine Velie
The painting of 15-year-old Bélizaire with the children of the family that enslaved him was restored to its original composition after his figure was covered up around 1900.

12. The Ruins Should Be Inhabited as Part of a Process of Repair by Ariella Aïsha Azoulay
The decolonization of Palestine is not only a Palestinian project, but also a Jewish one.

11. A New York Museum’s House of Bones by Erin L. Thompson
The American Museum of Natural History holds 12,000 bodies — but they don’t want you to know whose.

10. Ai Weiwei Speaks Out on Cancellation of His London Exhibition by Hakim Bishara
In a statement to Hyperallergic after Lisson Gallery nixed his show, the artist warned of “soft violence aimed at stifling voices” on the topic of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

9. The World Has One Less Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog” by Hakim Bishara
An art collector accidentally shattered a $42,000 “Balloon Dog” by Koons at an art fair in Miami.
(See also: Florida Woman Drives Rolls-Royce Into $3M Damien Hirst Work.)

8. Met Museum Kicked Me Out for Praying to My Ancestral Gods by Sophiline Cheam-Shapiro
My danced prayer to looted Cambodian antiquities was too much for the New York museum.

7. The Trump Mug Shot Memes Are Here by Rhea Nayyar
With Trump, the real meme is how he can still troll us after all these years.

6. I Was a Museum’s Black Lives Matter Hire by Lise Ragbir
“You think you’ve been hired because you’re the right person. But once you’re inside, you realize you’re not the right fit,” says curator eunice bélidor.

5. The Sick, Abusive World of Tom Sachs by Elaine Velie
Former workers who spoke to Hyperallergic reveal a culture of rampant mistreatment at the artist’s studio.

4. Voluptuous Mermaid Art Causes a Stir in Italy by Rhea Nayyar
The sculpture, dedicated to scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini, is described as “a tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy.”

3. The Dark Side of Van Gogh’s Cypress Trees by Daniel Larkin
The challenge at the heart of van Gogh’s Cypresses is that the trees carried associations in the late 19th century that are lost on us today.

2. The Black History of the Montgomery Brawl Folding Chair by Rhea Nayyar
The folding chair — a design of which was patented by a Black American inventor — has emerged as an iconic motif of the viral scene.

1. What the Art World Doesn’t Want You to Know About Yayoi Kusama by Dexter Thomas
A new publication tries hard to reinvent Kusama as a champion of racial equity despite her troubling record of anti-Black statements.

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