Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

MAN’s 2010 top ten list

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In no particular order:

1.) “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917,” at the Museum of Modern Art. The subtitle could have been “the Juan Gris years.” (On MAN: Part one, two.) [Image: Matisse, Bowl of Apples on a Table, 1916, collection of the Chrysler Museum of Art.]

2.) “Hard Targets” at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Two of the year’s strongest shows both addressed how artists address homosexuality in contexts in which gays and lesbians are/were not always welcome. (See No. 4.) Curator Christopher Bedford installed versions of this show at several venues. By the Wexner hang, he nailed it. (On MAN: Part one, two, three.)

3.) “Steve Roden: In Between,” a 20-year survey at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Calif. Roden is almost certainly the best artist in America who has never had a show had only one show in New York. This mini-retro, organized by former LACMA curator Howard Fox, should have convinced Easterners to get on board. (On MAN: Next week.) [Image below, left: Roden, fall after moons fall after…, 2008.]

4.)  “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” at the National Portrait Gallery. I hope that the Smithsonian’s failure to stand up to bigots doesn’t cause us to forget how good this show is. It was a couple major Rauschenbergs and a Catherine Opie self-portrait or two away from being a clear No. 1. (On MAN: Part one, two, three.)

5.) “In the Tower: Mark Rothko” at the National Gallery of Art. The work requires a quiet, evenly lit installation — and NGA curator Harry Cooper provided one. (On MAN.)

6.) “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Muybridge is one of America’s most innovative artists, but somehow he’d never been the subject of a retrospective until Corcoran curator Philip Brookman created this show. It was a doozy; thorough and jaw-dropping, it also created a controversy when a MAN Q&A with former Getty Museum curator Weston Naef revealed serious questions about whether Muybridge actually made the early work traditionally attributed to him. (On MAN: Introduction to MAN’s Q&A with Naef, complete with links to the entire series.)

7.) Willem de Kooning: The Painter’s Materials,” by Susan F. Lake. Who’da thunk that the best art book of the year would be the result of technical analysis by a conservator? (Certainly not Lake’s ‘home museum,’ the Hirshhorn, which all but ignored the book’s publication.) (On MAN: Part one, two.)

8.) E Pluribus Unum,” by Fred Wilson (proposed, at right). The most thoughtful work of public art proposed in years, Wilson’s sculpture kicked off a city-wide conversation from which art and artists too often shy away. Wilson’s engagement with the residents of Indianapolis should be a model for other artists. Look for an update on MAN soon. (On MAN: Introducing the project, talking with Wilson, talking with funder Brian Payne.)

9.) “West and West: Reimagining the Great Plains,” by Joe Deal, in book form and at Robert Mann Gallery. One of America’s most underrated synthesizers of landscape, Deal made important work up until his death this year. He was 63. (On MAN.)

10.) The museums who responded to Smithsonian secretary G. Wayne Clough’s censorship of “Hide/Seek” by installing David Wojnarowicz’s works in solidarity with the National Portrait Gallery, the show’s curators and the artist. Their standing with art, an artist and art historians was a display of spirited support that made the Warhol and Mapplethorpe foundations look silly and ineffectual. Maybe art museums learned something from 1989 after all.

Related: Previous MAN year-end top-ten lists: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.

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  1. […] Green on the Corcoran Gallery's "Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change,” which made the list of his favorite exhibits of the past year. Other D.C. art shows that made the cut include the National Portrait Gallery's […]

  2. Doug Harvey says:

    Hey Tyler

    steve roden has had one NY show, at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in the Spring of 2005. But he certainly deserves more!

  3. […] open at the University Art Gallery at San Diego State University on Feb. 14.) The show was on my ten-best-of-2010 list. Usually I follow reviews with linksy posts such as this, but given that Roden isn’t as well […]

  4. […] Previous MAN year-end top-ten lists: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. « Fred Wilson on CICF’s termination of his […]

  5. […] year-end top tens: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. « Weekend roundup Blog Home Analysis, […]

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