Trenton Doyle Hancock: Over the past two decades, Oklahoma City-born Hancock has created a complex cast of superheroes and anti-heroes in his art, so it is no wonder he personified one of the year’s dominant visual images. He first posted this characteristically cartoonish embodiment of the coronavirus, with those now familiar spike proteins, on 31 October on Instagram, with the caption: “Happy HELL-oween!!!!!”.

Ragnar Kjartansson: “Our two-year-old daughter Sigurvina Zíta is fascinated by statues,” Kjartansson says. Here she adopts the pose of the Hellenistic Sleeping Eros. “She often imagines she is him. A pillow with a grey blanket serves as the stone he is sleeping on in the original... This reality often confronting us in the living room is so beautiful, mythic and rococo.”

Mark Wallinger: In the UK’s first lockdown, Wallinger took warped, uncanny pictures of deserted scenes in London for a series called Panorama: London 2020. This image was taken on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street, one of the city’s busiest crossroads, on 13 April, a day with 1,044 reported UK deaths from the virus.

Lubaina Himid: “This tiny detail from a painting in my Mourning Kanga series sums up the oddness of my life during 2020. A speed camera tries to understand what a pig is feeling. The pig is not interested.”

Jeremy Deller: Deller has created many bat-related works in his career, and here responds to them being blamed for Covid-19. “If we respected these creatures a bit more they wouldn’t have to kill us,” he says.

Dread Scott: A powerful commentator on contemporary US politics and historic racial violence, Scott sent this pigment print, made with the ashes of an American flag and charcoal, just at the moment President Trump was refusing to accept Joe Biden’s election victory. It is titled We Don’t Need No Water, Let the Motherfucker Burn! (2020).

We asked artists to send an image that summed up their 2020 experiences—here's what we received

From coronavirus and lockdowns to US politics, this is a collection of postcards from "a year on the edge"