Best of 2011: Part 5
We asked a number of artists, curators, critics and frieze contributors for their picks of 2011.
Christopher Bedford is Chief Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA.
Omer Fast, Five Thousand Feet is the Best (2011)
• Gillian Wearing, ‘People’, Tanya Bonakdar, New York, USA
• Paul Thek, ‘Diver, a Retrospective’, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
• Christian Marclay, The Clock (2010), Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
• Chris Burden, ‘Metropolis II’, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
• Mary Reid Kelly, ‘The Syphilis of Sisyphus’, Fredericks and Freiser, New York
• ‘Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914’, Museum of Modern Art, New York
• Omer Fast, Five Thousand Feet is the Best, 54th Venice Biennale
• ‘Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection’, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada
• Josephine Halvorson, ‘What Looks Back’, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
• Nicola Tyson, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
• Stan Douglas, ‘Midcentury Studio’, David Zwirner, New York
• Andreas Gursky, Gagosian Gallery, New York
• ‘William Leavitt: Theater Objects’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
• Charlene Von Heyl, ICA Philadelphia, USA
• Maria Lassnig, ‘Films’, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
• ‘Unpainted Paintings,’ Luxembourg and Dayan, New York
• Lisa Yuskavage, David Zwirner, New York
Beatrice Gibson is an artist who lives and works in London, UK.
William Leavitt (detail)
Shows I caught and thought were brilliant:
• James Richards, Chisenhale Gallery, London
• Janice Kerbel, ‘Kill the Workers’, Chisenhale Gallery
• Petra Bauer, ‘Sisters!’, The Showroom, London
• William Leavitt, ‘Theater Objects’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Things I missed and wished I hadn’t:
• Laure Prouvost, ‘The Wanderer (Betty Drunk)’ International Project Space, Birmingham, UK
• Ryan Trecartin, PS1, New York
• Alex Waterman’s Spanish remake of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives at The Irondale Theatre, Brooklyn
• Raoul Ruiz’s final film, Memories of Lisbon
• ‘Jean Genet Act 1 & Act 2’, Nottingham Contemporary
• George Kuchar, ‘Pagan Rhapsodies’, PS1, New York
Things I’m looking forward to:
• Béla Tarr’s new film, The Turin Horse
• Steve McQueen’s Shame
Recommended in general:
• Alan Partridge’s autobiography, We Need To Talk About Alan
• Music for Merce, 1952–2009, Merce Cunningham box-set
• Eastbound and Down, Series one
• Holgar Czukay, Movies
• The end of Berlusconi
Bruce Hainley lives in Los Angeles, USA. A contributing editor of Artforum, he teaches in the MFA programme at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, USA. The fifth issue of Pep Talk is dedicated to his writing.
1. Nadal Cramps Up During 2011 US Open Press Conference
Aesthetically more consequential than almost anything in Performa 11, maybe ever. Bernini’s St. Sebastian and/or Michelangelo’s Dying Slave for the post-Empire. #feelingit
2. Maurizio Cattalan, ‘All’, Guggenheim Museum, New York
Devastating. Because let’s be clear, whatever else might have been going on – tonally, affectively, retrospectively – Cattalan commented on some of the things done in the name of art over the decades synching up with his career by providing a mass lynching.
3. Bret Easton Ellis’s Tweets
Speaking of post-Empire. A few recent examples:
Talented young filmmaker is offended that I called his last film an opportunistic cute-boy-with-cancer flick. Empire sensitivity implosion?
Ryan Gosling looked impeccable eating an apple as he sat down staring quizzically at the 25 year-old who explained to him how Twitter works.
I have warned Lionsgate that I will not approve a new version of “American Psycho” unless it stars SCOTT DISICK or MILES FISHER.
4. Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay, ‘212’
‘I’ma ruin you cunt.’ Mmm… Exactly.
5. Francis Picabia, ‘The Late Paintings,’ Michael Werner, New York
One response to being pigeon-holed: Fuck it all. A bazaar of invention, from the rapturous to the unfathomable. In addition to his acute framing designs and decisions, I particularly adore Montparnasse (c.1941–2), with a solicitous painter hawking his merch to the viewer, while in the background of the studio his ‘muse’ glares at you with a look that says: ‘Please buy it. I need a fix.’
6. Clio Bernard, The Arbor
Among many other astonishing achievements, a searching essay on the difference and repetition of acting versus being, worthy of Bertolt Brecht. Overwhelming given the current state of ‘reality’ programming.
7. ‘The Private Collection of Robert Rauschenberg’, Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York
Testament to the possibility of community. Among the riches: three killer Sturtevants, a delicate and amazing paper Lucio Fontana, hand-drawn scores of Morton Feldman, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, a spare, enthralling Oyvind Fahlström Krazy Kat, and, of course, the Johnses and Twomblys. On and on. Loved that any way this epic’s navigated you had to pass through, call it what it was, a photographic Hall of Game: Monty Clift, Abe Lincoln, Gertrude Stein.
8. ‘Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987’, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Guerrilla actions as harlequinades. ASCO carnivalized conceptual art by joyriding it through various street vernaculars. Their multimedia extravaganza achieved pointedly political results at a moment when the art system at large found ‘seriousness,’ not to mention the ‘political,’ in forms reductively dour. The catalogue that co-curators C. Ondine Chavoya and Rita Gonzalez edited should inspire artists and others to find ways of stirring up trouble for a long time.
9. TJ Clark’s frequent essays in the London Review of Books
Particularly ‘Grey Panic,’ on the Gerhard Richter survey at Tate Modern, London. Even if you disagree with his often stern views, the dude’s our Félix Fénéon. That some (many?) won’t get the ref seems about right.
10. Gabrielle Hamilton, Blood, Bones & Butter (Random House)
One of the most compelling books on food and eating, in all their various forms and situations, sweet and bitter, ever written. She’s immediately seated at the head table with Elizabeth David, Alice B. Toklas and Jeffrey Steingarten. For example, this choice sentence, from the rousing final section of ‘Bones’, in which she recounts her quandary at having accepted an invitation, by the student chapter of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, to participate in a conference held at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, on the topic ‘Where Are the Women?’: ‘How will the woman who is accustomed to great personal and bodily integrity suffer the cannibalizing feeling that nursing constantly can leave you with, as if you were being eaten alive, not in huge monster-gore chunks, but like a legion of soft, benign caterpillars makes lace of a leaf?’
11. Jon Leon, The Malady of the Century (Futurepoem Books, 2012)
Proleptic in every sense, Leon’s book doesn’t drop until May this forthcoming year, but I read the manuscript a few months ago and can swear it will be one of the most talked-about books of the year. He wrecks poetry; simultaneously, he makes it as chic and covetable as next season’s accessory, say an Isaac Reina 48hrs bag, bespoke for Frederick Seidel.
Andrew Hunt is director of Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK.
Alexandra Bachzetsis, A Piece Danced Alone (2011)
• Alexandra Bachzetsis, A Piece Danced Alone, Chisenhale Gallery, London, 1 December 2011
• Ed Atkins, ‘A Tumour (In English)’, Tate Britain, London, 8 October 2011 – 12 January 2012
• Paul Noble, ‘Welcome to Nobson’, Gagosian Gallery, London, 10 November 2011 – 17 December 2011
• Stuart Whipps, ‘Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness?’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 29 November 2011 – 5 February 2012
• Emily Wardill, ‘Full Firearms’, M KHA, Antwerp, 14 December 2011
• Song Dong, ‘Dad and Mom, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well’, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA, 26 February – 11 June 2011
• Anna Parkina, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 25 February – 19 June 2011
• Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, 27 May – 10 July 2011
• Merlin Carpenter ‘Tate Cafe’, Simon Lee, London (3 November – 22 December 2011)
• Tris Vonna-Michell (JRP / Ringier)
• Paul Buck, a public intimacy (a life through scrapbooks) (Book Works)
• Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador)
David Noonan is an artist who lives and works in London, UK.
Steven Claydon, ‘Twickenham Garden’, installation view, Kimmerich
• Emily Wardill, ‘Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck’, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, USA
• Carol Bove, ‘IILLUMInations’, 54th Venice Biennale
• Donald Judd, David Zwirner, New York, USA
• ‘Arte Povera International’, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy, curated by Germano Celant and Beatrice Merz
• Steven Claydon, ‘Twickenham Garden’, Kimmerich, New York, USA
• Luciano Fontana, Prada Foundation, Venice, Italy
• Peles Empire, Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London
• ‘Atelier: The Inventors of Tradition Collection 2011’, Lucy McKenzie and Beca Lipscombe, Cabinet Gallery, London, and the accompanying publication, edited by Catriona Duffy and Lucy McEachan (Koenig Books)
• Dorota Jurczak, ‘Kloake’, Corvi-Mora, London
• Hany Armanious, ‘The Golden Thread’, 54th Venice Biennale, Australian Pavilion
• Gauguin, Tate Modern, London