Here are the 10 art shows that left the most impact on me in 2008, presented in no particular order and with regrets to the other fine exhibitions that just didn’t quite make this admittedly subjective list.
Museums have not been immune to the nations economic meltdown Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Arts endowment has calamitously plunged and Cincinnatis Contemporary Arts Center had to lay off five people, including its public relations director.
Turning adversity into a virtue is something artists are good at. The adversity of being an artist in a Communist society that forbad direct social criticism steered Anderle into a body of work well suited for comment on the human condition. So prints became Anderle's dominant form of expression through much of his career.
What this means is not at all simple. The papers are painted beautifully in the loose but contained way of a lot of art right now. It's also politically charged. But bringing the two together makes something consuming. We, as viewers, stand face-to-face, surrounded by the criminal acts of our generation.
At first glance Brooklyn-based artist Kambui Olujimi’s solo show at Meyers Gallery at the University of Cincinnati, The Clouds Are After Me, seems sparse. Loose-leaf pages hang from the white walls in likely formations. They become both more interesting and more disappointing when you look a little closer. The “clouds” that follow the artist are the unlucky, the illegal and the politically incorrect.
In her review of Ryan McGinness' art exhibition Aesthetic Comfort ('Dark and Dizzy,' issue of Nov. 12), Laura James states that the artist has created something "entirely original." I've been a great fan of McGinness' work since I first saw it at the Contemporary Arts Center's Beautiful Losers.
"Who Owns the World?" at Country Club Gallery features the sculpture, video and photography of Meromi combined in an attempt to address the influence of Modernism and the utopian politics that accompany that legacy. Noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Through Nov. 22.
"The theme of 'Houdini's Box' is all-encompassing," explains Jymi Bolden, director of Art Beyond Boundaries Gallery. He put this exhibition together to showcase a diverse range of photographers working with film and digital techniques in what he calls "a magic act."
Many Westerners received their introduction to modern China during the 2008 Olympic games. Television viewers witnessed the results of an architectural explosion in Beijing, and innovative structures like the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube became instant cultural icons.
"Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms" at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus is surprising. It makes Warhol fresh again but also in some ways is far more exciting than the more prim-and-proper 2002 Los Angeles show, even though it has less of his classic artwork. It has important examples of his art but is vividly about his life and times. Through Feb. 15, 2009.