Top Exhibitions 2010 - Paul Carey-Kent
By Paul Carey-Kent
20 December, 2010
2010 was a rich and varied year - so much so that what started as a top ten got a little out of control...
Christian Marclay: The Clock
The 24 hour showings of Marclay's tour de face felt like the art event of the year.
Birds played guitars memorably at the Barbican's superbly curated alternative space, which also scored with Damián Ortega.
The Bloomberg Space
Justifying his status as the only artist in the long-running 'Comma' series to have both rooms to himself.
Angela de la Cruz
The show which should have won the Turner Prize?
The most confrontational photography show of the year may well have been the best. Jean-Luc Mylayne at Spruth Magers and Elina Brotherus at Wapping Bankside were contrasting challengers for that honour.
The Immortality Drive
In a crowded field, this may just have edged the award for best show in a small gallery. There again, I also loved Danny Rolph @ Poppy Sebire, Emma Bennett @ CHARLIE SMITH London, The Body in Women's Art Now Part 2 - Flux @ ROLLO, Alex Hudson @ Vegas and Graham Dolphin @ Seventeen...
Francis Alys: A Story of Deception
John Baldessari: Pure Beauty
The most imaginative of the major shows were both at Tate Modern.
Josh Lilley - my pick of the artists wholly new to me (much of the work shown here was, incidentally, snapped up by the mega-collecting Rubells and is now on show in Miami)
The Real Van Gogh
The Artist and His Letters
The Royal Academy - the most memorable historical show of the year.
This gallery did a great job in presenting work new to London from the American performance artist, sculptor and photographer(1940-93) as well as presenting Ana Mendieta and Lygia Clark to score a rewarding hatrick of female estate shows. Which reminds me of Alice Neel at the Whitechapel and Louise Bourgeois at the new Hauser & Wirth space and also...
Victoria Miro & Picasso
The Mediterranean Years
The best museum shows not in a museum. The former actually did come from a museum show which toured Spain and Italy, the latter merely seemed as if it might have come from MOMA.
The 75 year old was one of many happily still-surviving 'grand old men' to impress: also good, and older, were Marc Vaux (78) at Bernard Jacobson, Alex Katz (82) at Timothy Taylor, Antoni Tàpies (87) at Waddington, Richard Hamilton (88)at the Serpentine, Paul Feiler (91) at the Redfern Gallery.
My favourite video show of the year was the students' presentation of the most extensive selction yet from Smith's long career.
Haunch of Vension
If you wanted one artist to excess and possibly beyond, then this was the place - along, perhaps, with Bharti Kher @ Hauser & Wirth.
The The Things Is (For 3)
Milton Keynes Gallery
Giorgio Sadotti's anonymously presented riot of an exhibition challenged the definition of London, as did such excellent shows as Miroslaw Balka @ Modern Art Oxford, Dolly Thompsett @ ArtSway and Tomoko Takahashi @ the de la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill...
Previously Editor at Large, Art World Magazine