Sunday, December 27, 2009
Top Eleven of the 2000s
Everybody is doing a top ten list... so here is mine.
This is my top ten list of art shows that I have seen over the last decade. This is just my opinion and has a lot to do with geography. Here we go!
1. Andy Warhol at MOCA in Los Angeles in 2002
I saw this show in the middle of graduate school. To see Andy's development was really phenomenal. His work was so new and groundbreaking. It is also nice to see the relatively conventional work he made early on. And then you see the shift into entirely new stuff.
Every original idea I thought I had- Andy thought of it 40 years ago.
2. Laura Owens at MOCA in 2003. I saw this show at the end of graduate school. Laura Owens make sweet girly paintings that challenge the current canon of painting as big, muscular, and self-important. Laura's paintings are big, but certainly not serious. There is a whimsy and visual language typically seen in women's craft but not in the scale of big American painting. Her paintings are silly, however the questions her work poses stay with me. I can't look at a Stella or Rothko in the same way.
3. Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collections at LACMA and the Broad Foundation in Santa Monica in 2001-2002
I saw the LACMA show in 2001 when I first arrived in California. I saw the show with my Art Theory professor, Christopher Miles. This was my introduction to art of the 1980s and 1990s.
The visit to the Broad Foundation in Santa Monica was definitely eye-opening. Chris Miles scheduled the visit which is only open to educators, researchers, and students. They have 75% of Cindy Sherman's work. It was amazing to see something so comprehensive and not open to the public. It was like having a private tour of the Sistine Chapel. I also was very influenced by the scale of Phillip Taffe and Charles Ray.
4. Santa Monica Museum- Cavepainting- Peter Doig, Laura Owens and Chris Ofili in 2002
I actually went to the opening of this show. It was my first time at such a high profile opening and I felt like a nobody. There were thousands of people there. However, the energy and glamour of the event was intoxicating. One of my favorite memories from the show was the glow in the dark painting by Chris Ofili. The lights would go completely out every 5 minutes and then you would see a completely different piece. I love the theater of the experience.
5. Rural Studio at the Birmingham Museum of Art in 2004. Organized by David Moos
I saw the Rural Studio show when I moved back to Alabama after grad school. I love the show and especially the concept of the Rural Studio. One of the most important things I got out of the show- you can make interesting, dynamic, and contemporary work and live in the South. I needed that at the time.
Honorable mention- Joan Mitchell in 2002
6. David Smith at Guggenheim in 2006
I saw this show when I took my art history class from Tusculum on a trip to NYC. It was such a good fit between space and artists. I wasn't a big David Smith fan before- but the show, the curation, and especially the design of the Guggenheim- it all made sense. The Guggenheim functions the best when it shows work from the 1950s (when the Guggenheim was built).
7. Tara Donavon at ICA in 2008.
I saw this show with my friend Tim McDonald from Framingham State College. We went on my way back to the airport and it was a great surprise. I had seen Donavon's work at the Biennial and was underwhelmed. This show was amazing! Check out the slide show in the link.
8. Critz Campbell at Knoxville Museum of Art in 2005
Kevin and I went to see this show when we were first dating. Critz was a former CORE student at Penland and so was Kevin... The show was strong- great shapes,beautiful craftsmanship, nice sense of color, surface, and decoration. In many ways, it is the perfect hybrid between my work and Kevin's.
9. Christian Marclay in Seattle Museum of Art in 2004
I saw this show in my first and only visit to Seattle. I went to the CAA convention in 2004. The show blew my mind. His video work (see youtube) is so smart, grand, and interesting. It makes a great case for the potential of video work. He also used cassette tape (knitted and crochet) to make large sculptures- such a cool show.
10. Tim Hawkinson at the Whitney in 2005
I saw this show on my first solo trip to NYC in 2005. I have been back every year since....
Tim Hawkinson's work in so strong. I still remember the clocks made out of unusual materials (a Manila folder).
11. William Christenberry at the University Museum, Oxford, MS in 2008
I really like William Christenberry. He is from Hale County, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. I actually met Mr. Christenberry during his talks at the University Museum. He seemed like a man you would meet at any southern protestant church, however some of his insights about art are still with me. One of my favorite lines- "I am much more knowledgeable about athletics that aesthetics." He is a big Alabama football fan- Roll tide! They were filming a documentary during his talks at Ole Miss. I can't wait to see it.
Honorable mention- Black Mountain College show in Asheville Museum of Art in 2006.
PBS's Art 21- all seasons