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Jan. 20, 2006 

Peering into the art-world’s crystal ball, Artnet asked a number of artists, curators, dealers and other art professionals for their predictions for 2006. The results:

Paul Schimmel, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles:
1.) There will be another wave of interest in Los Angeles art with "Los Angeles-Paris" opening at the Centre Pompidou in March and the too-numerous-to-count one-person exhibitions of Los Angeles artists that are taking place internationally.

2.) Art dealers will find it increasingly hard to entice the brightest and best artists to premiere their work at art fairs, as artists choose to show to smaller audiences in the more focused and controlled environments of galleries and museums.

3.) Art auctions may pull back from the speculative and adventurous practice of featuring contemporary art from the last half of the 1990s to the present, and instead adopt the more traditional approach by re-focusing on historical material from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Charlie Finch, art critic: Glenn Lowry will head the Metropolitan Museum, Kathy Halbreich will head MoMA, and Gary Garrels will head the Walker Art Center.

Maurizio Cattelan, artist: Things can only get better.

Justin Lieberman, artist: Damien Hirst and Marla Olmstead, the child prodigy painter from Binghamton, N.Y., will team up for a two-person show outdoors at Madison Square Garden.

Aura Rosenberg, artist: The producers of Sesame Street will approach Dan Graham about directing a new puppet segment called "Wild on Sesame Street."

Zach Feuer, art dealer: 1.) Republican artists, and 2.) Collaborative groups made up of fictional artists in shows organized by made-up curators.

Barry Neuman, art dealer: I think it's a safe bet that there will be 50 to 60 new and bona fide (i.e., seriously authored by qualified people) art world blogs by the end of the year. Why is this significant? In some cases, the blogs may speed up the infotainment machine that's impacting the actual, hands-on, real-world art scene, locally and internationally. Here's a link to a blog by the Greek artist Angelo Plessas and a new blog by the project manager of Boiler Magazine called Gelati Motel.

Noritoshi Hirakawa, artist: My prediction for 2006 is that it will be predictible.

Sidney Lawrence, artist and art critic: The Corcoran Gallery of Art, having abandoned its plans for a Frank Gehry addition in 2005, will again enlist an architect of note to design a wing for its art school -- Santiago Calatrava. The tightly engineered oval structure opens to great acclaim in 2008, but shortly after a new president is inaugurated in January 2009, it is revealed that components of the Calatrava addition are in fact sensors that pick up, for live broadcast on the internet, private telephone conversations to and from the Oval Office. The Corcoran and its addition are seized, demolished and replaced by a new structure to house the newly created U.S. Information Control Department and dormitories for preferred lobbyists.

Larry Warsh, art collector and publisher of Museums magazines: Prices for top Chinese contemporary art will continue to rise, fueled by the growing Chinese economy and the scarcity of good available works, and because of the many western and Chinese collectors (both new and existing) that are entering the market.

The auction houses (Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips) have identified Asia as a growth market that can also serve as a hedge against a possible bubble in western contemporary art. Watch for record-breaking results at the forthcoming Sotheby’s sale of Chinese contemporary art slated for this March in New York.

Chinese artists will continue to be integrated into the gallery and museum network -- already, Yang Fudang is working with Marian Goodman Gallery and Xu Bing with Paul Kasmin. The China Institute (which is moving to the American Craft Museum space on 53rd Street across from the Museum of Modern Art) has enlisted art collector Aggie Gund to chair a special committee on collecting contemporary Chinese art. And there will be more and more museums looking for Chinese artists to show -- some of the artists are just brilliant!

Glenn O’Brien, author: Google will merge with Gagosian Gallery, forming Googlosian. Plus, Glenn O'Brien will direct Schnabel, a new film starring Steven Seagal as Julian Schnabel, with Steve Buscemi as David Salle and Christina Aguilera as Mary Boone.

Franklin Sirmans, art critic and curator: Bad art will not continue to sell. Ephemeral gestures will be all the rage. And the theme of "How Soccer Explains the World" -- an exhibition that Trevor Schoonmaker and I are doing with Roebling Hall and other venues -- will be made manifest in contemporary art.

Richard Prince, artist: What I see is what I know. Things with one color. Nothing brown. No more teenager. Everything quiet and minimal. Sophistication vs. extended adolescence. Everything in one frame. Country road instead of cross-town traffic. Feathers instead of steel. Tug boat instead of Octopus.

Carlos Betancourt, artist: So many situations are unpredictable, but two things are certainly easy to foresee for the next year: Paris Hilton will be photographed once again, and Fidel Castro will still be in power.

Jerry Saltz, art critic: Prediction: After the Armory Show is over, several major art galleries will put an ultimatum to the fair organizers to improve the spaces, the layout, the walls and the general ambience, or they will pull out.

Not a prediction, but a hope: The 2006 Whitney Biennial might actually be about something, be less list-y and be the most focused version of this show since the 1993 edition (which was totally panned). Regardless, having only two curators is much better than having three as it did in 2004, or the insane number, six, in 2000.

A Pipe Dream: Someone will pay for Mitchell Algus to curate a project space somewhere in New York, maybe at the Whitney.

John Good, art dealer: The shift of interest from Impressionism to modern and contemporary art will continue and the high end of the market will remain strong. One can still buy masterpieces from the second half of the 20th century and that is increasingly hard to say about pre-WW II art. As for the rest of the market, as long as the world economy holds up, it should be fine. The art market is in an expansion phase that cannot go on forever, but it should continue this year.

Cory Arcangel, artist: 1.) yeah, i dont know, been thinking lately we are gonna see the older artists destroy the young artists (of course this is bad for me. . .hahaha). for example, i went to a keith sonnier lecture at the MoMA a week or so ago, and it turns out his recent public commissions are like 40,000 times as rad as anything he has ever done. the audience at the lecture was awed when he showed them. for some reason i think this will happen a lot this year. older artists will show the young ones how its done. ...u know this kinda joe paterno at Penn winning the bowl game again kinda stuff but for art. . . think of mike kelly throwing it down at gagosian. anyway, the lesson is, dont sleep on the masters.

2.) i think politics has been such a constant topic for the last 5-6 years, that it has officially seeped over into "pop" culture. therefore we will see a lot more work dealing with politics, but not in a "political art" or "activist" kinda way, more in a pop culture kinda way. . . u know? it's sad but war has become as common and american as mc donalds, or nike or whatever.

3.) also, i am still waiting for art’s answer to pink is the new blog, the new celebrity blog, or gawker or even let me know when it exists, ill prolly hit reload like 400,000 times a day.

Kiki Smith, artist: I try to focus on the present so I don’t have to be anxious about the future.