Top 10 Happy Moments of Art Appreciation and Artists Who Found a New Gear This Year
Chronicle Arts writer Rachel Koper remembers 2008 in the visual arts
1) Steve Brudniak Don't call "Noumenon," his solo sculpture show at the Butridge Gallery, a comeback; it was worth waiting for this new group of sculptures.
2) Andrew Long This new Chronicle contributor made a new body of work and just generally had a huge year with shows at the Austin Museum of Art, Butridge Gallery, Texas State University, and Houston's McMurtry Gallery.
3) Debra Broz The Pump Project Art Complex gallery is growing better by the second under her sound leadership.
4) D Berman Gallery Showing consistently good craftsmanship, the summer group show that included Joseph Phillips was sweet, and so were Jeff Dell's show "Big Pelt" and Malcom Bucknall's "The Other Thing Is" and Lance Letscher's "Industry and Design."
5) "The Politics of War" (Flatbed Press) The art was outstanding, and the timing of the show was stellar.
6) "Modern Art. Modern Lives. Then + Now" (Austin Museum of Art) So many locals loaned work for this show curated by James Housefield ("Then") and Dana Friis-Hansen ("Now"); it was a totally unique insight into collecting art in Austin.
7) "LeWitt x 2" (Austin Museum of Art) What I liked was seeing Sol LeWitt's private collection. I've been dreaming of this Anish Kapoor print ever since.
8) Art Palace The Eastside gallery had many fine moments this year – impossible to rank in my mind, just lots of good work by Eric Zimmerman, Elaine Bradford, Jonathan Marshall, and Peat Duggins, among others.
9) Jules Buck Jones He has had a sweet run lately, with successful exhibits at testsite and Art Palace and in AMOA's "New Art in Austin: 20 to Watch" – all the time drawing various animals which I like.
10) Women & Their Work The gallery was nice and fresh this year, with energetic and funny shows that included Cauleen Smith, Katie Pell, Donna Huanca, and the cool group of "Pattern Pattern Pattern."