TH_Airplane TH_B TH_Bigarrow TH_Bomb TH_Calendar TH_Calendar2 TH_Camera TH_Checkmark TH_CircleSearch_Black TH_Circles TH_Cloud TH_CloudNight TH_CloudSun TH_Close TH_Eyewear TH_Facebook TH_Faces TH_Feather TH_Flag TH_Footwear1 TH_G TH_GooglePlus TH_GreaterSign TH_Hamburger TH_Hand TH_Hands TH_Hanger TH_Heart TH_Homebase TH_Instagram TH_LA TH_LessThan TH_Lightning TH_Lines TH_Lines2 TH_Link TH_Lists TH_Lookbook TH_MapLocation TH_Message TH_Moon TH_MusicNote TH_NY TH_NewBomb TH_P TH_Page TH_Person TH_Power TH_PublicLabel TH_Questionmark TH_R TH_RSSFeed TH_Rain TH_Rain2 TH_Random TH_SF TH_SM TH_Search TH_Shoe TH_ShoppingBag TH_Skateboard TH_Snow TH_Star TH_Store TH_Sun TH_Twitter TH_UpArrow TH_Video TH_Vimeo TH_Webio TH_Wind TH_Write TH_X TH_YouTube TH_tumblr Th_Shirt th_newwindow TH_DownArrow TH_Hongkong TH_Hongkong icon_art icon_babes icon_business-branding icon_fashion icon_lookbook icon_music icon_photo icon_tech
Blog
Expand Fullscreen

THE BEST ART SHOWS I SAW AROUND THE WORLD IN 2014

In 2014, I traveled around the world for business and was able to hit more art shows in more countries than ever before. I went to the original Art Basel in Switzerland, saw Rosson Crow’s retrospective in the south of France, visited Tomoo Gokita’s exhibition in New York, swooned over Eddie Martinez’s exhibition in Los Angeles, and so much more. So, what follows is a list of my favorite art shows from 2014, all of which I was lucky enough to see in person.

 

KAWS at Honor Fraser

For Man’s Best Friend, the artist’s third solo exhibition at Honor Fraser in Los Angeles, KAWS presented new drawings, paintings, and sculptures. My favorite pieces were the canvases stretched over wood panels shaped like characters from Charles M. Schulz’s, Peanuts, comic strip, as well as the large-scale landscapes that were painted in bright colors and oh-so-smooth brushstrokes.

 

Tomoo Gokita at Mary Boone

For this jaw-dropping exhibition at Mary Boone in New York, Japanese artist, Tomoo Gokita, painted large-scale portraits in matte black gouache and white gesso. The paintings referenced pulp fiction and film noir and had intriguing titles like “Cocktail Pianist from Acapulco” and “Daughter of a Fraudster.” “The full or half-length figures appear in a state of deconstruction or deterioration appropriate to their origin in memory, their resurrection from the past – flesh morphs and melts, with faces obscured by a mask or veil of paint,” the gallery described. “Like the cryptic fantasies of the Surrealist painters, Gokita conjures a world once humorous and disconcerting.”

 

Rosson Crow at Musee Regional D’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Rousillon

This might have been my favorite exhibition of the year, not only for its unique location (a 12th-century village in southern France), but also because it brought together pieces like “Buck Owens’ Trophy Room” and “Five Minutes Late and Two Bucks Short at the Cha Cha,” which I have been admiring online and in magazines for years. In total, the exhibition assembled 25 paintings culled from private collections as well as unseen work. There were also several paintings inspired by her 2006 trip to France, during which time she visited Versailles, Fontainebleu, and the chateaux in the Loire Valley, and reinterpreted what she saw in grand pieces such as “Rococo Rodeo” and “Equestrian Show.” “I enjoy the process of excavating that history,” Crow told me when I interviewed her last year, “and finding the hidden spirits beneath.”

 

Eric Yahnker at Paradise Row

Stickes & Drones was Eric Yanker’s first solo exhibition in London, and it was a banger. Yahnker appropriated hot-button issues and then condensed them down to their “comedic essence” in colored-pencil drawings like “Speed Bumps” and “Fingering Crisco.” Through satire and a perverse sense of humor, he was able to distill complexities of history, philosophy, and academicism.

 

Eddie Martinez at Kohn Gallery

Nomader was the artist’s first solo exhibition in L.A. and featured large-scale paintings, small works on paper, and sculpture at the impressive Kohn Gallery. His textured and expressive paintings, such as “High Flying Bird” and “For Richard D. Marshall, Rest in Paintings,” were made with oil and spray paint and sometimes mixed with the detritus of his studio (baby wipes or paper towels, for example). Whereas his sculptures were made from found materials such as rubber hoses, styrofoam, cardboard, and metal scraps.

 

Friedrich Kunath at White Cube

I’m Running Out of World was Friedrich Kunath’s second exhibition at White Cube in London. I’m a huge fan of Kunath’s work and visited his exhibition at Blum & Poe in L.A. Several times while it was up, so I was excited to see new work from the artist, and this exhibition did not disappoint. The works toed the line between reality and dreams and included a range of references from both high and low culture. In addition to his sunset paintings and large-scale surreal works, Kunath placed ceramic sea otters on the floor, which looked as if they were swimming around the gallery.

 

Peter Saul, Erik Parker and Jamian Juliano-Villani at Marlbourough Chelsea

Far Out! featured three artists whose work and personal lives are linked together. “Saul’s color-drenched grotesques emerged out of the same heady stew that produced the underground comix revolution, and this imagery and inclination has metastasized in the work of Parker, his former student,” the gallery wrote. “Parker’s influence, in turn, has been refracted in his former studio assistant Juliano-Villani continuing what now amounts to a burgeoning mini-tradition in style, mood, and provocative subject matter.”

 

Runner-Ups

Lastly, my runner-ups for 2014 are FUZI UVTPK at China Heights in Sydney, Ryan Travis Christian at Western Exhibitions in Chicago, Ducks at Greenpoint Terminal Gallery in Brooklyn, Tamara Santibanez and Daniel Albrigo at Common House in Austin, and Sam Friedman at Library Street Collective in Detroit. These are only runner-ups because I wasn’t able to see these shows in person, but all featured artists whose work I love and hope to catch in person in 2015.