Best of 2016: Visual Art

“Red is only black remembering.”
-Ocean Vuong, “Daily Bread”

Visual art gets more important to me every year. It makes its mediation between the idea and the finished product impossible to ignore. It freezes memory in all its unreliable-ness in a static form forever or it deliberately stays ephemeral. Engaging with a painting or a sculpture or an installation requires going up to it alone and letting it inside you. Even if you’re talking about the piece with someone else, the work has to be grappled with alone and you’ll never adequately explain what you see.

Got waylaid by illness and obligation so I’m both late and this is going up without blurbs but please know how much each of these struck me.

As with all of my end of year lists, everything is in Columbus unless otherwise stated.

  1. Agnes Martin, s/t (Guggenheim Museum, NYC) 
  2. Kerry James Marshall, Mastry (Met Breuer, NYC) 
  3. Melvin Edwards, Five Decades (Columbus Museum of Art) 
  4. Pipilotti Rist, Pixel Forest (New Museum, NYC) 
  5. Noah Purifoy, Junk Dada (Wexner Center)
  6. Alexandria Eregbu, The Shadow on the Ground (The Luminary, St Louis) 
  7. Martin Wong, Human Instamatic (Wexner Center) 
  8. Toyin Odjih Odutola, Of Context and Without (Jack Shainman Gallery, NYC) 
  9. Various Artists, The Sun Placed in the Abyss (Columbus Museum of Art) 
  10. Various Artists, Utopia Banished (Angela Meleca Gallery) 
  11. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Indelible Memories (sepiaEYE Gallery, NYC) 
  12. Aaron Fowler, Tough Love (CCAD Beehler Gallery) 
  13. Shambauvi Kaul, Modes of Faltering (UT – Downtown Gallery, Knoxville) 
  14. Dennison W. Griffith, Another World (CCAD Beehler Gallery) 
  15. Richard Myers, Aberrations/Mark Mothersbaugh, Myopia (Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland)
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