Top 20 Highlights of 2006

January 1st, 2007 · No Comments · Artists, Writing


2006 was a banner year for seeing art. Here are our favorite exhibitions of the year (in chronological order):

1) The year began in Marfa, Texas with our first visit to the Chinati Foundation. We posted about our trip here, here, here, here, and here. Forget the October open house, try Marfa for New Years: it’s wonderful.

2) Also in January, we happened upon the installation of Nancy Rubins’ newest work at MCASD, Pleasure Point, 2006. We stood on Coast Blvd forever, with the ocean breeze and the palm trees and the California blue sky, watching that huge crane lift the boats into place, where about 5 workers were wiring them together. It’s all tension: no bolts, no welding. Just boats and wires and precise geometry. We blogged about it here.

Before we left for our residency in Spain (which accounts for a huge portion of our best art moments), we saw four great shows in LA. Looking over the year and the work we’ve made, I can trace back to the influence of these four shows.

3) In April, there was Robert Rauschenberg, Combines. So good, what can you even say? All we could say was YES.

Then in May there was the one-two-three punch at the Hammer:

4) the inspirational Société Anonyme: Modernism for America

And at the same time, two project shows at the Hammer that tipped our art practice on its ear, and challenged us to rethink previous assumptions and come up with new solutions for old problems:

5) Jesper Just changed the way we think about video. We wrote about it here.

6) Elliott Hundley changed the way we think about incorporating photos into collage. Our take on that here.

Then we spent the early part of the summer in Barcelona. We saw so much art there we could hardly keep up posting about it all. There was plenty of great stuff that never got a mention because of our limitations, but not because of merit, like the Tàpies Museum, and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. But for us, the best art we saw in Spain boiled down to:

7) Histories Animades at Caixa Forum was hands-down the best animation show we’ve ever seen. We didn’t review it, but our fellow resident, Megan Lynch, did here. Some American museum should get this show to travel to the states.

8) The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is an amazing museum in an old palace on Montjuic. The museum’s Renaissance and Gothic collection are mouthwatering, but it was the fresco exhibition that stopped us in our tracks. A postmodern mash-up of ancient frescos resurrected on ultra-contemporary plywood and plaster apses. What really struck us about this show was that most of the frescos were only partially intact, and so the curators floated these wonderful shapes on the white plaster surface. These perimeters inspired us and show up in Bruc Fugue, the work we made during our residency.

9) The Sagrada Familia. It’s unbelievably wonderful. Nothing more to say.

10) The Cathedral at Mont Serrat. This was going to be a location for our video shoot, but ended up being logistically impossible, but what an amazing place. A cathedral carved into the mountain, as impractical a place to worship as it is magical.

11) Pauline Fondevila at Galeria Estrany De La Mota. We did a round-up of some of the best work we saw in galleries, and Fondevila’s work is the last two images of the post, check it out here.

After we got back to Los Angeles, we only had a handful of weeks before we were scheduled to move to St Louis. We crammed in as much as we could, including a trip Baja, where on the way back to LA we stopped in on the wonderful:

12) Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana

Then my favorite fun show of the summer:

13) the Waist Down exhibition at the Prada store in Beverly Hills. I wrote about it here.

Fall brought us to St Louis, and since we’ve been here we’ve seen some great work as well:

14) John Watson and Andrea Green’s show at Laumeier Sculpture Park

15) the City Museum

16) the Remote Viewing show at the St Louis Art Museum, which I’d seen the year before at the Whitney

17) Tara Donovan lecturing at the St Louis Art Museum

18) the new Kemper Art Museum at Washington University.

And two of our favorite gallery shows this fall:

19) Bill Smith at White Flag Projects

20) and Georgia Kotretsos at Boots Contemporary Art Space.

Here’s to more great shows in 2007 — cheers!

Category: Artists · Writing

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