2014: A Retrospective: ABN's Top 20 Art Exhibitions of the Past Year

By Casavant, Hillary | Art Business News, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

2014: A Retrospective: ABN's Top 20 Art Exhibitions of the Past Year


Casavant, Hillary, Art Business News


EACH YEAR, exciting museum and gallery exhibits turn heads and leave lasting impressions on the art world. From retrospectives of art legends to debuts by tomorrow's shining stars, these shows challenge viewers and excite artists, critics and collectors alike. Here are 20 exhibits from the past year that still have us buzzing.

Based on Actual Events

Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City

2014 kicked off with an eye-popping array of photo-realistic art by Alyssa Monks, Diego Koi, Eloy Morales and Joel Rea. The exhibition explored contemporary realism, hyperrealism and surrealism through a vibrant range of styles and mediums. Morales will return to the gallery for a solo exhibition next May. jonathanlevinegallery.com

Colder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic

Los Angeles County Museum of Art A revolutionary of modern sculpture, Alexander Colder produced mesmerizing kinetic mobiles propelled by motors and air currents, His monumental freestanding structures are equally innovative, dynamic and surreal. This exhibit featured 50 metal objects and installations from Calder's striking portfolio. Iacma.org

Sylvia Fein: Surreal Nature

Krowswork, Oakland, California

At 94, Sylvia Fein stirred critics last winter with five luminous new paintings. The tree series, created as an elegy to her husband, appeared alongside 22 other works from her rich, accomplished career. Using a unique egg tempera medium, Fein creates surreal imagery of a natural world brushed lightly with magic. krowswork.com

Nick Cave

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Boston exploded with color when Nick Cave took over The Institute of Contemporary Art last winter. In addition to his renowned full-body "soundsuits," costumes crafted from unconventional objects, the exhibit showcased the artist's latest collection of freestanding sculptures, bursting with ceramic figurines, beads and other found objects. icaboston.org

Georges Braque: A Retrospective

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

After premiering at the Grand Palais in Paris, this show traveled to the only U.S. stop on the tour, accompanied by loans from public and private art collections across Europe and the U.S. The retrospective featured 75 significant works of art from Braque's career, showcasing his achievements in modern art and influential development of cubism. mfah.org

Shades of White

Traver Gallery, Seattle

As winter gave way to spring, Seattle explored the reductive trends that have recently emerged in contemporary art and design. The works by 24 nationally renowned artists explore the removal of color and its aesthetic effect on myriad mediums, including wood, glass and sculpture. travergallery.com

Fruits, Flowers, Objects

Handwright Gallery, New Canaan, Connecticut

Spring came to full bloom at this exhibit, which paired traditional still life florals alongside more contemporary interpretations of the genre. Oil paintings by Rebecca Leer, mixed media pieces from Rachel Miller and eye-catching acrylic work by Marzena Oberc-Habzda were just some of the standout pieces in the show. handwrightgallery.com

Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

In 1978, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago hosted Frida Kahlo's first U.S. solo museum exhibition. More than three decades later, the museum's curators placed two of Kahlo's works from the original exhibit alongside a selection of contemporary artists who share Kahlo's rebellious, passionate and socially conscious spirit. mcachicago.org

Sail Into Summer Annual Group Show

Louisa Gould Gallery, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

This show captured the lush atmosphere of summer on the Vineyard. The lovely collection of landscape and still-life paintings included new work by the gallery's artists, including Doug Kent, Adam Thompson, Donna Blackburn and Laura Roberts. …

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