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 @ White Cube

Christian Marclay: The Clock

White Cube

The 24 hour showings of Marclay’s tour de face felt like the art event of the year.

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot - The Curve

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

The Curve

Birds played guitars memorably at the Barbican’s superbly curated alternative space, which also scored with Damián Ortega.

Martin Honert - The Bloomberg Space

Martin Honert

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 - Camden

Angela de la Cruz


The show which should have won the Turner Prize?

Leigh Ledare - Pilar Corias

Leigh Ledare

Pilar Corias

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.

Rachel Thorlby - The Immortality Drive

Rachel Thorlby

The Immortality Drive

Madder 139

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

Francis Alys: A Story of Deception

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty

Tate Modern

The most imaginative of the major shows were both at Tate Modern.

Analia Saban

Analia Saban

Information Leaks

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 Real Van Gogh

The Artist and His Letters

The Royal Academy – the most memorable historical show of the year.

Hannah Wilke

Hannah Wilke

Elective Affinities

Alison Jacques

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…

Francesca Woodman - Victoria Miro and Picasso

Francesca Woodman

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.

William Tucker - Pangolin

William Tucker


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.

John Smith - RCA

John Smith

Solo Show


My favourite video show of the year was the students’ presentation of the most extensive selction yet from Smith’s long career.

Anton Henning - Haunch of Vension

Anton Henning

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)

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…

Paul Carey-Kent

Paul Carey-Kent

Previously Editor at Large, Art World Magazine


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