2011 lists, contemporary art

Gallery, Show, Artist, Work of the Year 2011

December 14, 2011
Melissa Logan (Chicks on Speed) hanging out at gallery of the Year

Coasting in the general celebratory mood of this time of year, it seemed harmless enough to pick out a few personal highlights for readers of this blog.

Gallery of the year: Grey Area, Brighton

Although I should disclose I’ve enjoyed a night out or two with the folk at this local venue, you would be hard pushed to find another small space punching so far above its weight. 2011 saw shows from Chicks on Speed, Plastique Fantastique and John Russell. Thanks to an oblique marketing strategy, one never knows what to expect.

Show of the year: Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s

Barbican brought an architect, a musician and a choreographer back from the 70s to compile art show of the year. Of course it helped that Matta-Clark could also draw, that Anderson could also sculpt and that Brown’s postmodern dance was well suited to the gallery. The result was equal measures hope and nostalgia.

Artist of the year: George Shaw

Shaw’s has painted mundane landscapes all within two square miles of his home for ten years. What could the Turner Prize matter in Tile Hill? While their detail may be exquisite, the works themselves hardly seem the point. The overall project is the art, which, having found many fans from similar backgrounds, suggests he will endure.

Work of the Year: The Trip, Marcus Coates

Part time shaman Coates shed his comedy outfits this year to investigate whether art can be of any assistance to the terminally ill. But his light touch remained as he undertook a voyage to the Amazon on behalf of Alex H and this turned into another of his journeys to the spirit world. The result was a minimal but profound and useful 20 minute film.

So, what about you? I’d really like to hear other people’s gallery, show, artist and work of the year. Comments, as ever, welcome.

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