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New Art for a New Year

In 2022 the art world roared back from Covid hibernation, with artists and museums staging postponed exhibitions and completing long-term projects. Now many artists are looking forward to 2023 with a heightened sense of possibility and fresh directions.

Anicka Yi, 51, a Korean-American artist whose work blends biological and technological forms, describes her recent installation at Tate Modern in London as “the realization of my wildest dreams.” Three years in the making, “In Love With The World” filled the Tate’s Turbine Hall—which once housed a power plant—with airborne machines based on ocean life-forms and mushrooms, their behavior determined by an artificial life simulation program. In the spring, “Metaspore,” Ms. Yi’s first major survey show, opened at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan. The artist found that seeing “over a decade of my practice condensed in a single location” brought unexpected insights into her own work. That sense of reflection also sparked her first experiments in painting. In the coming year, Ms. Yi says she is looking forward to being an artist in residence at Stanford, where she plans to build a community of thinkers connecting the art world, the natural sciences and emerging technologies.

One artist whom Ms. Yi finds “radically inspiring” is Guadalupe Maravilla, whose work draws on his own experiences of migration, illness and healing. Mr. Maravilla, 46, came to the U.S. in 1984 as an undocumented, unaccompanied 8-year-old fleeing civil war in El Salvador. As an adult, he was diagnosed with cancer, leading him to explore indigenous healing practices such as sound baths: “Sound, to me, is medicine,” he has written. In 2022 he exhibited his work at four museums, including MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum, staging ritual healing performances that involved his sound-producing sculptures.

Mr. Maravilla is now immersed in a project that will be the centerpiece of his late-spring show at the ICA Watershed in Boston. Working with mechanics, artisans and shamans, he is transforming a school bus into an outsize sound sculpture. Bureaucratic snarl-ups prevented the “healing bus” from following its intended route from El Salvador. Instead, it will travel from Mexico to Boston, where it will be activated as a massive “vibrational healing instrument,” says Mr. Maravilla.