New year, new blog, new me? I don’t know about the latter, but anyways I thought it would be nice to reflect upon the past year and make a top 12 list of favorite art I saw in 2012.
12. Tomás Saraceno, Cloud City
This towering mirrored structure would take anyones breath away, allowing yet another breathtaking view of the NYC skyline.
11. HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, New York), Wendy
You couldn’t miss this unusual structure bursting out of MoMA PS1’s courtyard, that is both a visually striking sculpture and an ecological project. Amazingly Wendy purifies the air through its ‘skin’ and provides a source of shade, seating, and water for the public, this is yet another example of where design meets function.
10. Barbara Kruger, Belief + Doubt
Though I wished to see more, the current installation by Barbara Kruger at the Hirshhorn Museum leaves quite an impact. Kruger’s witty yet truthful statements wrap around the walls, floor, and escalator literally engulfing one into her world.
9. Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
A retrospective of Texas based painter and possibly mad scientist, Forrest Bess was one of the most unusual and disturbing artists included in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and that I have ever seen. I would highly suggest reading about his story and looking at his strangely beautiful paintings.
8. James Rosenquist, f-111
This summer I was blessed to see this magnificent painting in the flesh. Rosenquist, a personal favorite and inspiration of mine continues to astound me.
7. The Cloisters Museum
If you haven’t been to the Cloister’s museum at Fort Tyron on the upper west side then you need to go. Even if Medieval art isn’t your thing the architecture alone is enough to amaze you with its beauty and not to mention the glorious courtyards and gardens…
6. Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design at the Museum of Art and Design
This exhibition of the most overlooked, temporal, and etherial of materials…dust, ashes, and dirt was simply amazing. The technique employed by these artists is astounding along with their ability to make an undesirable material so desirable.
5. Bill Viola, Ocean Without a Shore
I saw this video installation around this time last year and it still holds resonance with me; its raw emotion and ability to convey human presence. I highly recommend seeing it in person at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, but here is a video for those who will not be in the Philadelphia area in the near future.
4. Yayoi Kusama at the Whitney
The retrospective of Yayoi Kusama was one of my favorite exhibitions. Kusama being a truly influential artist was aptly represented in the blockbuster exhibition, of which I found to be beautifully curated and succinct in portraying her full artistic longevity.
3. Nick Cave, Let’s C
I was brought to the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia last winter unaware of the amazingly outrageous “Soundsuits” I would encounter. I was indeed pleasantly surprised. Seeing them in isolation as sculptural objects was amazing; however, watching them being worn and animated adds an entire other level to the experience.
2. Cindy Sherman at MoMA
One of the most noted female artists of the 21st century, Sherman’s exhibition at MoMA was one not to be missed. Sherman’s work is deeply fascinating and mysterious, such as her Untitled Film Stills that speak to the male or camera’s voyeuristic gaze.
1. Ai WeiWei, According to What?
My top pick for 2012 is Ai WeiWei’s exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for several reasons, its successful curation in the unusual circular building, the artist’s social and cultural importance, and the strength of the works themselves. I encourage all to visit the Hirshhorn and see this exhibition and don’t miss Ai WeiWei’s signs of the Chinese Zodiac in the courtyard.