The year’s best art | Dazed

The year’s best art | Dazed

The year’s best art

Ed Atkins at the Serpentine Gallery
Dazed 100 star Ed Atkins’ show at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London (11 June – 25 August) was sheer aural perfection Courtesy of The Serpentine Galleries

What a year. Digital Feminists kicked the art world (and Ryder Ripps) into shape. Duncan Campbell won the Turner Prize. ArtRank formerly know as SellYouLater became the art world’s dirtiest pleasure. And then there were the exhibitions. It is impossible to be impartial when choosing the best shows of year – hell, there’s no way a single individual can see everything. (Missing the Gwangju Biennale is a personal regret). These ten, however, were incredible, awesome, superlative exhibitions that deserve a round of applause.

PIERRE HUYGHE AT HAUSER AND WIRTH, SAVILE ROW

Pierre Huyghe’s first show with Hauser and Wirth was astounding. A stone sculpture that felt warm to the touch. Aquariums with psychedelic orange pond water from Monet’s garden. An exceptional film of an uncanny monkey wandering around wearing a Japanese geisha mask. An artist constantly and uniquely redefining what art is.

PIERRE HUYGHE AT HAUSER AND WIRTH, SAVILE ROW
Pierre Huyghe’s first show at Hauser and Wirth, Savile Row (13 September – 1 November) was astounding Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, photography by Hugo Glendinning

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL AT M HKA ANTWERP

Kerry James Marshall is increasingly getting the international attention he deserves. This big retrospective in Antwerp included some of his older collage work, comic strip pieces and history paintings. But the highlight were three huge canvases in largely red, green and black – which demonstrated how he simply keeps getting better in his redefinition of the representation of Blackness.

Kerry James Marshall exhibition, M HKA
Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective exhibition at M HKA, Antwerp (4 October – 2 February) included his older collage work, comic strip pieces and history paintings Courtesy of Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen

KP BREHMER OR YVONNE RAINER AT RAVEN ROW LONDON

It would be easy to say Raven Row is the most intelligent space in London. There were two stand out shows there this year impossible to choose from. One was a wildly good retrospective of the dance-art of Yvonne Rainer which included regular performances of her work. The other brought together the political work of Polke contemporary KP Brehmer. Shows so good art feels good again.

KP Brehmer Simone Forti at Raven Row. Credited to Raven Row
KP Brehmer at Raven Row in London (25 September – 30 November) was one of two stand out shows for the gallery this year Courtesy of Raven Row

CAMILLE HENROT AT CHISENHALE AND NEW MUSEUM

Henrot had two incredible solo shows this year – one at London’s Chisenhale the other at NYC’s New Museum. Both perfectly encapsulated her ability to mix nature, travel, pop ephemera, tech culture and life into a perfect amalgam. A truly incredible young artist who continues to wow without bending to her audience.

Camille Henrot at Chisenhale Gallery_Andy Keate_08
Camille Henrot at the Chisenhale Gallery and New Museum were both incredible shows for the artist Courtesy of Kamel Mennour, Paris and Johann König, Berlin. Photography by Andy Keate. © ADAGP

ART AND SOUND AT FONDAZIONE PRADA, VENICE

Fondazione Prada outdid themselves with this show. Bringing together old instruments, sound works, kinetic sculptures and art pieces involving music.

art and sound 3
Art and Sound at Fondazione Prada, Venice (7 June – 3 November). The foundation outdid themselves with this show Courtesy of Fondazione Prada, photography by Attilio Maranzano

PAUL MCCARTHY AT MONNAIE DE PARIS

McCarthy’s chocolate factory at Paris’ mint could have been old news if it hadn’t been for the energy it harnessed after the artist was attacked over placing a buttplug Christmas tree outside the Louvre. In response he projected a last minute video over the entire show of him violently scrawling the attackers words ‘Are you the fucking artist?’ and created one of his most angry and powerful works in years.

DSC_8106©Marc Domage
Paul McCarthy’s chocolate factory at the Monnaie de Paris (25 October – 4 January) was one of his most angry and powerful works in years © Marc Domage, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hauser & Wirth

ISA GENZKEN AT MCA CHICAGO

This show was originally staged at MoMA in NYC last year but it wandered over to the MCA Chicago and was still incredible. From her scrapbooks from her time hanging around in NYC in the early 90s to incredible mannequin assemblage pieces and perfect abstract glitter tape wall works – Genzken is an artist who is outshining all her big arse male contemporaries.

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken’s retrospective at MCA Chicago (April 12 – August 3) proved that she’s an artist outshining all her big arse male contemporaries via mcachicago.org

ED ATKINS AT SERPENTINE GALLERY

There was a moment in Atkins’ solo show at the Serpentine Sackler building when the ghostly talking and singing voices in his digital films spread around the space all harmonised together. It was sheer aural perfection. The looped bloodied disembodied bouncing head falling down virtual stairs was also impossible to forget. Atkins understood the way to use this new space perfectly.

Ed Atkins at the Serpentine Gallery
Dazed 100 star Ed Atkins’ show at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London (11 June – 25 August) was sheer aural perfection Courtesy of The Serpentine Galleries

MICHAEL SMITH AT TRAMWAY, GLASGOW

This retrospective brought much deserved attention for an artist who seemed to slip off the map in the last decade. This beautifully installed show, which coincided with Glasgow International, exuded humour, intelligence and a perfect critical take on (American) pop culture. As his fake promo art film put it ‘Go for it Mike!’

Michael Smith Glasgow International 2014
Michael Smith’s at Tramway in Glasgow (4 April – 4 May) brought much deserved attention for an artist who seemed to slip off the map in the last decade Courtesy of Glasgow International, photography by Alan McAteer

THE MOVING MUSEUM, ISTANBUL

This two-floor exhibition in an underground car park in Istanbul deserves serious recognition for making something impossible possible. The show brought together artist from the city (Lara Ogel, Volkan Aslan) as well as international hot names (Hannah Perry, David Douard) to create a loose group show that did something to capture a generation.

The Moving Museum, Istanbul
The Moving Museum in Istanbul (28 October – 14 December) deserves serious recognition for making something impossible possible Courtesy The Moving Museum, copyright CHROMA

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