The Brooklyn art scene saw both surging highs and submerging lows this year. Its mixed arts initiatives of the winning variety ran a healthily engaging gamut: greatly successful open studios events in Bushwick, Northside and Gowanus; another Art Walk in Bay Ridge; an Art Basel in Bushwick; and a disarmingly fun sand-sculpture contest at Rockaway Beach (which, yes, is technically Queens). Yet there was also the Brooklyn Museum’s awkwardly pitched, geographically implausible and logistically deflective Brooklyn GO, an all-thumbs attempt to tap into Brooklyn’s creative energy that was panned both before and after the fact—making the greatest virtue of GO its past participle, GONE. Mixed fortunes turned to true misfortune this fall, though, as Superstorm Sandy compromised art studios and spaces from Greenpoint to Gowanus. While such losses paled in comparison to those suffered elsewhere in the city and region, they were nonetheless harrowing for those who confronted them. Thus for Brooklyn art, too, although Sandy did not define 2012, she did sweep breezily through the end of the annum to summarily redefine it.
Speaking of defining moments—although here quite differently definitive—the following Brooklyn art shows were among many others worthy of recollective note. To narrow things down a bit, however, a Best 12 of 2012 list seemed fitting enough. (In chronological, as opposed to qualitative, order—and ignoring a priori all the ‘Ridgewood is Queens’ commentary, because whatever.)