Top 10 From Visual Art in 2012
In an exceptional year for seeing art, deconstructed graphics, technosculpture, and detailed drawings stood out
By Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Jan. 4, 2013
Every show I saw this year was worth seeing – which isn't always true, depending on how much one sees and where one sees it. As a regular arts reviewer for the Chronicle, I saw a lot of exhibitions, peered into quite a few studios, and ranged across the city to do this. We could just reprint all the reviews I wrote, but that would be even farther from the "Top 10" format than this is – and even that wouldn't hide how I've yet to visit the much-buzzed-about Wardenclyffe Gallery and haven't been back to Co-Lab's powerhouse of art since Jamie Panzer's sizzling Bullshit Detector in February. And, of course, EAST is beyond any mere list. So, OK, in no order:
1) 'RANDALL REID: RESURRECTING THE PAST' (Davis Gallery) Graphic relics, deconstructed and reframed in fresh new ways.
2) 'ANN WOOD: VIOLENT DELIGHTS' (Women & Their Work) A sculptural nature documentary, by way of Tobe Hooper and Alexander McQueen.
3) 'sodalitas: core' (GrayDUCK Gallery) Sampling veins of pure beauty.
4) 'STEVE BRUDNIAK: BACK FROM SAMSARA' (Austin Community College Rio Grande Gallery) Arcane technosculpture, like art nouveau gone industrial.
5) 'TOM HUCK: HILLBILLY KAMA SUTRA' (Slugfest Gallery) The kind of handmade prints that make you want to squeal like a piggy.
6) 'RIGOBERTO A. GONZALEZ: BAROQUE ON THE BORDER' (Mexican American Cultural Center) Narcocorridos, illustrated in vast tableaux.
7) '2012: THE DRAWING ANNUAL' (Tiny Park) This is what talent draws when it's honed by skill and brains.
8) 'JENNIFER BALKAN: PEEP HOLES' (Wally Workman Gallery) Brilliant portraits in oil, stunningly presented.
9) 'WAYNE WHITE: BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING' (Domy Books) If beauty's really embarrassing, this show's face must've been crimson.
10) TWO EXHIBITIONS AT SALVAGE VANGUARD THEATER GALLERY Sorry, conflict-of-interest fans, but even though I curated the Fusebox-enhanced "Food Porn" show by Kaci Beeler and co-curated (with Shannon McCormick) the "Presidential Losers" group show, I'll be damned if they weren't among the most fierce and delightful of the year.