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Color, Culture, and Sentimentalism: Trends to Watch in Denver's Art Galleries in 2024

We are officially a few months into the New Year, and, as always, the art world continues to evolve as curators and gallerists predict the trends that will have art collectors everywhere scrambling to buy. The top galleries and auction houses in the industry have projected a few trends that picked up traction in 2023 and are expected to continue into 2024.


Often, gallerists consider what did well in the past to determine the unique needs of different communities and collectors scouring the market today. All galleries are different, just as all clients are, but most evaluate what is selling on a grander scale in order to choose their own exhibitions and residencies.


So, from your favorite Denver art gallery, here are what we think will be the most popular art trends this year based on dozens of articles from leading curatorial groups and auctions in the U.S. and abroad.


Vibrant Colors and Bold Patterns

 

With the decline of minimalism in design and architecture and the rise of maximalism and mid-century nostalgia, there’s been an uptick in collectors of all ages and socio-economic statuses searching for artwork that doesn’t shy away from bold color palettes.


Abstract expressionism and pop art are especially in demand lately. According to one of the top curation websites, Artsy, the sale of contemporary abstract paintings skyrocketed in 2023 and is expected to continue. In addition to popular contemporaries like Damien Hirst, we have emerging visionaries like Robert Nava and Tunji Adeniyi-Jones paving the way for new and interesting plays on bold colors and patterns.


Pop art and surreal art have also been on trend with collectors. Drawing inspiration from top-selling Andy Warhol works and Roy Lichtenstein pieces, bold color trends have trickled down into the collective minds of consumers. 






Transient Optimism

Marc Waldthausen




12x12 #3

Steven Morrell


Sentimentalism and Figurative Works

 

Sentimentalism has been a popular subculture of artwork since the great Renaissance painters like Leonardo Da Vinci and Titian began painting their famous depictions of the virgin and the son. 


The definition of this trend is as it sounds: a pivot toward art that sparks emotion using figurative narration. In the 1700s and 1800s, this trend was popularized in quiet contrast to the darker baroque art that had been defined by Catholicism. A style beloved by the French, the Rococo period was often defined by teasingly sentimental artwork, often playful or feminine in quality. By the turn of the century, however, sentimentalism had all but disappeared in exchange for society's new fascination with the neoclassical.

The trend of sentimentalism was brought back into the cultural sphere in the 1950s and 60s by artists like Norman Rockwell, whose paintings for the Saturday Evening Post centered around everyday interactions and interpersonal communications and conflicts.


Ultra-contemporaries have sought to play with the style even further, using figures and portraiture to open up discussions about mental health and healing in the digital age of artwork. These artists have been in high demand recently for the raw and emotive quality of their works. This is a trend that’s surely going to gain more traction in the upcoming years.




See No Evil, Feel No Evil

Kodi Delaney


Eco-Friendly Mediums

 

As the world shifts toward more eco-friendly options for everyday consumer items and processes, the art world is also using recycled materials and eco-conscious mediums.


Those who have traded in their older acrylic paints for the more sustainable egg tempera, watercolor, or cadmium-free oil paints are seeing higher value sales than their counterparts, while paper and clay-based sculptures have become more popular than metal art. 


Traditional art mediums like acrylic paints may contain harmful chemicals that are detrimental to the environment. In contrast, alternatives like egg tempera, watercolor, and cadmium-free oil paints offer more environmentally friendly options. These mediums are often derived from natural, renewable sources and produce fewer harmful byproducts during production and disposal.


Artists are also exploring innovative ways to incorporate recycled materials into their artwork. This could include using repurposed objects, reclaimed wood, recycled paper, or even plastic waste. By giving new life to discarded materials, artists not only contribute to waste reduction but also challenge perceptions of beauty and value.


Overall, the shift toward eco-friendly options in the art world reflects a broader cultural movement toward sustainability and responsible consumption. By embracing recycled materials and eco-conscious mediums, artists not only contribute to environmental preservation but also redefine the relationship between art, nature, and society.




Pull Yourself Together

Hector Sector


Inclusive and Diverse Artwork

 

There is a growing demand for art that reflects diverse perspectives and experiences. In 2024, galleries in Denver and across the rest of the country are expected to prioritize diversity and inclusion, both in the artists they represent and the exhibitions they curate. This includes showcasing artwork by women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQ+ artists, and other underrepresented groups. Themes of social justice, identity, and representation are likely to feature prominently in contemporary art exhibitions.


Since 2020, gallerists have been prompted to provide a more inclusive space for a variety of different artists and perspectives, and auction sales for ultra-contemporary artwork by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ have risen significantly in response.


Renowned contemporary artists like Amoako Boafo have reached record highs at auction in recent years, a feat made possible only through the diversification of the gallery space. The popularity of inclusive and diverse works will undoubtedly continue to trend upward in the next decade as the art industry is restructured.


Embracing the Future: A Call to Explore the Ever-Evolving Art World

 

As we look ahead to 2024, it's evident that the art world is entering a phase of dynamic transformation. Artists are boldly challenging conventions, delving into pressing social issues, and harnessing the power of emerging technologies to express their visions. In this vibrant landscape, galleries stand as beacons of innovation, shaping trends by curating exhibitions that resonate with the ever-evolving interests and priorities of collectors and audiences alike.

 

To witness these trends firsthand and immerse yourself in the captivating world of contemporary art, we invite you to visit RemainReal Fine Art, nestled in the heart of Denver. Experience the colors, emotions, and stories that define our cultural zeitgeist, and join us in celebrating the boundless creativity of today's artists.

 

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the forefront of artistic expression. Plan your visit to RemainReal Fine Art today and discover the art trends that are shaping the future.




Bearing Witness

TJ Reese




Desert Rose

Sarah Starling

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