From Immersive Everything to the Rise of Museum Unions, These 7 Trends Defined the Art World in 2021—and Will Shape the Year to Come

Installation view of “Frida: La Experiencia Immersiva.” Photo by Claudio Cruz/AFP via Getty Images.

Immersive Van Gogh ruled the year, with multiple versions of the phenomenon competing across the map for the Big Fun Art dollar. Following Van Gogh’s lead, scads of companies started experiences inspired by pretty much any artist with any name recognition whatsoever, from three separate immersive Monets, to immersive Frida and Diego (“Mexican Geniuses“), to immersive Francisco Goya (“InGoya“).

Meow Wolf, the experience-art collective turned experience-art company, opened large new environments including its “Omega Mart” in Vegas, which was part of Area15, a dedicated immersive-experience zone in Sin City. Meanwhile, Superblue, the Pace-affiliated Big Fun Art emporium, opened a dedicated space in Miami, before Superblue’s curators realized a show of the design-art group DRIFT at the Shed, filling the space with the spectacle of gravity-defying stone blocks.

In the hazy post-vax, pre-Omicron days of mid-2021, people were looking to get back out into the world and be around people, and the popularity of these para-art attractions became one of the manifestations of that urge.

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