In 2011 I recommended dozens of exhibitions and openings for readers of The Bare Square to check out. I attended many of the shows and enjoyed every minute. When I sat down to compile my list of top shows, I was initially going to make a top 5 list. After reviewing all the picks, I realized I saw too many good shows and great art to limit the list to just five!
Art afficianados will note the absence of blockbuster shows like Maurizio Cattelan, de Kooning, and others. Jen Recommends has generally focused on gallery shows, mostly by emerging artists, but often including established and even well-known artists.
So, without further ado, here are my Top 11 Jen Recommends Gallery Openings of 2011:
The great Kesting Ray Gallery (formerly Christina Ray Gallery) in Soho impressed with the artworks of Amze Emmons and Kevin Haas. Both artists create cleanly executed industrial landscapes that are meant to explore and foster dialogue. Check out the Art Seen video from the opening:
Tim Saternow creates some of the most beautiful watercolors I have ever seen…ever. His use of layering, depth and light make this artist’s work unparalleled! See what I mean in the video below:
It’s no surprise that Alyson Shotz’s work is in the Whitney and the Guggenheim’s permanent collections. Shotz shimmers with her mesmerizing, reflective installations and sculptures.
One of Germany’s most famous contemporary artists working today, Cosima Von Bonin, let us step into her world of whimsy, intensity and imagination with her fun show The Juxtaposition of Nothings at Freidrich Petzel Gallery back in April. It’s not only my top 8 show of the year, but also one of my all-time favorite videos we’ve produced to date:
David Ellis is a multidisciplinary, collaborative and inspirational artist. It was a great pleasure and a great experience attending his opening which bubbled over with energy. We’ll be sharing our experience with you shortly on the next episode of Art Seen…be sure to subscribe at Blip or check back here at The Bare Square!
Jordan Eagles creates beautiful, striking artworks…made from blood! (It’s pig’s or cow’s blood, but still a bit shocking to first-time viewers.) The composition and look amaze regardless of the media, but the use of blood challenges and engages the mind.
Joan Mitchell’s vibrant gestural works are iconic. When I view her work, my spirit lifts and I feel in tune with the artist and the artwork. She also has a mystical way of allowing the viewer to bring her own experiences and emotions to the interaction. It was a joy to see this great collection of her works from the last decade of her life.
This was a truly special opening with Dada works by Marcel Dzama! The show featured a film by the artist, as well as drawings, sculptures and dioramas inspired by the film filled the gallery. I felt like I was tumbling down a rabbit hole into the world of Dzama! In addition to the artwork, David Zwirner gallery really buzzed with energy that night with a fun, respectful, and engaged crowd.
Marc Dennis creates beautifully executed photo realistic paintings that explore dichotomies between the grotesque and the beautiful. The exhibition was absolutely a highlight of my year. If you watch the video below, you’ll see Marc’s dad standing next to him at one point! (He’s the gentleman in the gray suit.) Again, the combination of artwork and opening put this one in my top three.
I love Richard Serra…well his artwork anyway. I feel lucky every time I have the opportunity to experience his sculptures in person, which is the best, and really almost only way to experience his work. There is nothing like walking in, out and around his large scale sculptures as they tower over you.
Stephanie Lempert really hit a home run with her first sculptural exhibition. The striking and delicate artworks made out of a rapid prototype process are groundbreaking. The works are intimate, complex and contemplative while at the same time achieving great beauty and accessibility. Claire Oliver’s personal touch, welcoming attitude, and appreciated cooperation made the event that much more special. Stephanie is a well-spoken, thoughtful artist, and her innovative approach catapulted her opening to the top of my list.
Congratulations to Stephanie for being my top gallery opening for 2011!
If you’ve enjoyed the top 11 shows of 2011, then be sure to read The Bare Square in 2012. I’ll keep recommending the hottest art events and openings in NYC for you to check out, and you’ll be “up” on the best bite-sized art news from around the world.
Here’s to a great 2012!
- Jen Wallace