Year Out, Year In: Janusian Thoughts On NYC Art, 2014-2015

12/31/2014 6:05 PM |
Photographs by Vincent Romaniello


This issue’s release date falls on the very last day of 2014, making it slightly tardy for best-of-year listings and a bit premature for previews related to spring. We decided to both seize and celebrate this junctural moment—collaboratively and in Janus-like fashion, looking backwards and forwards at once—by asking a group of artists, writers and curators to weigh in on their favorite exhibitions and other arts-related occurrences from the year that is now concluding, and to make a few notes or predictions for the new year that is now commencing. Also, since our last issue featured a selection of Brooklyn-centric art highlights, this roundup is arrayed all around town—as well as a wee bit beyond.


Other than the 2014 blockbusters (Ofili, Scott, Matisse, West, Humphrey), Julia Kunin and Jackie Gendel at Jeff Bailey Hudson; Tamara Gonzales at Klaus Von Nichtssagend; Todd Bienvenu at Life On Mars; Holly Coulis and Andy Cross at Sardine, Kristen Schiele and Emily Noelle Lambert at Lu Magnus; Reed Anderson at Pierogi; Ridley Howard at Clinton Koenig; and Azettagh at Outlet. 2015: Looking forward to Helen O’Leary at Lesley Heller, and Chantal Joffe at Cheim and Read, as well as the opening of Transmitter, a new Bushwick art space.
Meg Lipke


2014: Helene Rubinstein at the Jewish Museum, and Kurt Steger’s work during “Exchange Rates,” at Art Helix. I’m thrilled that Goya links 2014 to 2015 through the Boston Museum of Fine Art blockbuster on view through January 19, and a show of his Los Caprichos prints at the National Arts Club, opening January 8. From these shows, and for the new year, I hope to gain insights wrought from monstrous elegance.
Charlotte Kent


2014: Sigmar Polke at MoMA, Sean Landers at Petzel, Chaim Soutine at Paul Kasmin, R H Quaytman at Barbara Gladstone, Ryan Foerster at CLEARING, Michelangelo Pistoletto at Luhring Augustine Bushwick. Hopes for 2015: To survive Bushwick Open Studios and the BOS exhibition/raffle to be held at Storefront Ten Eyck in April-May.
Deborah Brown, artist and owner, Storefront Ten Eyck


In 2014, the great double-takes of Gober and Matisse at MOMA, and Neo Rauch and Franz West at Zwirner; Caroline Cox at Studio 10; Chris Ofili; Sarah Lucas; Jerry Kearns; and any show/event at Centotto or Valentine. Also, hurrah for older artists getting their due, notably Arnold Mesches at Life on Mars! Wishes for 2015? Affordable studios and city planning that fosters great architecture and infrastructure. But reality check predicts: Increasingly unaffordable studios, drone art and more creative hacking of big corporations.
Kate Teale, artist and sometime curator


2014: Christopher Wool and ZERO Group at the Guggenheim, Sigmar Polke at MoMA, Supports/Surfaces at Canada. “Exchange Rates” in Bushwick was a crazy idea that actually worked. Seeing Michelle Grabner, an artist engaged in numerous DIY projects, curate a section of the Whitney Biennial was extremely gratifying. 2015: I’m looking forward to the term ‘atemporal’ replacing ‘zombie’ in painting discourse, and watching migrating NYC art communities help bring Detroit and other downtrodden cities back to life. Will Jerry Saltz finally unravel?
Sharon Butler, artist, professor, and art blogger at Two Coats of Paint


Photographs by Paul D'Agostino


Lousy years for civilization are often great ones for movies (witness the 1970s), and 2014 fit the pattern. So here are my film highlights: Paul Thomas Anderson’s neo-noir Inherent Vice snidely illuminated Pynchon’s weed-infused vision of the death of sixties idealism. Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive rehabilitated vampires as louche, despairing liberals. Bird People elevated serenity as an artistic impeller; Whiplash opted for trauma. Love Is Strange was a hearty paean to New York artists who dig the lifelong struggle. The existential hero of Godard’s Goodbye to Language was a selfless dog. Paintings anchored the apocalyptic Calvary and the whimsical The Grand Budapest Hotel, both superb. Two terrific swan songs emerged in genre form: The Drop (Gandolfini, crime noir); and A Most Wanted Man (Hoffman, espionage). Linklater’s seamlessly multigenerational Boyhood made film history. Looking forward to Sundance 2015, which reportedly will tilt towards comedy. Probably not a bad idea.
Jonathan Stevenson, film reviewer at Two Coats of Paint


So many shows & works I loved in 2014! Michelangelo Pistoletto at Luhring Augustine; John Avelluto at Studio 10; Vapors & Squalls at Centotto; so many things during BOS 2014; the Judy Chicago exhibition and the Swoon installation at Brooklyn Museum; Spranger at the Met. In 2015, I hope to continue seeing new and intriguing work from friends, acquaintances, and strangers, and perhaps be brave enough to share more of my own snaps and scribbles.
Farah Momin


Saw great shows in 2014 at Art Helix, Odetta, Parlour, Studio 10, English Kills and Centotto, all in Brooklyn. “Exchange Rates” in Bushwick was good, and Drawing Rooms, in Jersey City. Also, Joan Mitchell in Chelsea, and Jon Manteau at LGTripp Gallery, in Philadelphia. 2015? I just hope the sky doesn’t fall, and that we have fewer reasons to wonder what happened to justice.
Vincent Romaniello


2014: Michele Araujo at Studio 10, for the interrupted sensuality; Adam Simon at Studio 10, for foolin’ around with art history; David Brody and Cindy Tower at Valentine, for enlarging the space; keeping up with Rob de Oude’s studio; Gorky’s visit to Bushwick, at Outlet.
Cathy Quinlan


2014 favorites: Katherine Bernhardt, Kathy Bradford, Margrit Lewczuk, Kyle Staver, Meg Lipke, Lauren Luloff, Mandy Lyn Perez, the Julie Torres Bushwick Open Studios show. 2015 is the year Bushwick graduates from being the townies to Manhattan. Women and minorities get fair representation in shows. Rent goes up anyway, and we all move to Rockaway and learn to surf.
Todd Bienvenu


One of the best things about 2014 was how much talking the art world did about race, gender, and representation. This was thanks in no small part to the Yams Collective, who ignited a firestorm when they pulled out of the Whitney Biennial. Amid that controversy, it was easy to forget that they weren’t just provocateurs; they were also artists. I had the privilege of seeing their withdrawn film, Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: An Opera, and it was incredible—emotional, gorgeous, complicated, cohesive, visceral. I hope to see that piece, and/or more work by the Yams, on public view in 2015, playing front and center somewhere. And more conversations like the one they fueled.
Jillian Steinhauer, Senior Editor at Hyperallergic


Two fortuitous pairings top my 2014 list. The first was the combination of the incredibly vast, comprehensive, dense, and surprising Guggenheim show Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe, while the very focused and illuminating Fortunato Depero exhibition was at the new Center for Italian Modern Art. The Guggenheim show tracked an exceptionally prolific group of artists as they sought to remake every conceivable medium and eventually, though unsuccessfully, to become the official art movement of the fascist government. The exhibition at CIMA highlighted the very distinctive output of one of the stars of the Guggenheim show before, during, and after his involvement with the movement. The second was the overlapping surveys of contemporary art being made in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum and BRIC. While neither was a perfect show, or even a great show, they offer interesting glimpses of art-making practices in the borough today organized according to sharply contrasting criteria. My sincere hope for 2015 is that less attention—from critics, curators, artists, the media, and the general public—is given to the ‘artistic’ dabblings of celebrities like James Franco, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Shia LaBeouf.
Benjamin Sutton, Metro Editor at Hyperallergic


2014: MoMA’s There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33; Bishop at Zwirner; Andre at DIA Beacon (plus Ian Wallace on Blinky Palermo at DIA’s “Artists on Artists” Lecture Series); Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner; and Ragnar going National in Bushwick. 2015: I’m looking forward to seeing the Rothko Harvard Murals ‘relit’, the Nicholas Krushenick retrospective at the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, and the Grinderman (Nick Cave’s mid-life crisis band) reunion tour.
Don Voisine


2014: Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals at the Frick, and Balthus at the Met. Mike Disfarmer at the Neuberger was a real revelation, straightforward but so subtly revealing. Also, Antonio Fransconi at SUNY Purchase. He was the foremost woodcut artist in the world, and this exhibit was to celebrate his life’s work. Totally blew my mind. He was the real deal.
Kerry Law


In 2014, Goya in Boston, Madame Cézanne at The Met, Joan Mitchell at Cheim & Read, Jennifer Wynn Reeves at BravinLee, and Andrea Belag at DCKT. For 2015, I hope that all my peers produce exciting work, receive amazing reviews, and sell enough to allow them to keep on making.
Fran O’Neill


In 2014, I loved seeing Sean Lander’s new work at Petzel, and the Robert Gober retrospective at the MoMA was hauntingly beautiful. In 2015, I look forward to the inaugural show at The Whitney’s new home and the long-awaited autobiography by Kim Jong-un, Manchild.
Paul Gagner


2014 highlights include Chris Ofili, Day and Night (who says great painting can’t repair bad architecture?); Ridley Howard, City Waves; Watching Clare Grill hit her stride in the studio; and the arrival of Bodega and Regina Rex to the LES. Hope for 2015: That the MOMA has been secretly planning on bringing the Hilma Af Klint show to the US.
Matt Phillips

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