Melany Jean’s Top 10 Fine Art Moments of 2018
Unforgettably textured sculptures, unsettling exhibitions, and unusual spaces made for a memorable year in art
Reviewed by Melany Jean, Fri., Dec. 28, 2018
1) "ELIZABETH CHILES: WEAVE" (grayDUCK Gallery) Chiles uses light, color, and pattern to captivating effect, and her show at grayDUCK was no exception, brilliantly pinning down nature's ephemeral moments of beauty and offering them up for generous display.
2) "TERRA GOOLSBY: BLACK RAINBOW" (Dimension Gallery) Goolsby's textures are unforgettable. The surfaces of her sculptures lured you in with the promise of a rainbow and left you thoroughly unsettled – no pot of gold, only black, black, black.
3) "SHANIE TOMASSINI: SLIPPERY CLUMP" (Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum) Another show with unforgettable textures and sculptures, this solo exhibition by 2018 Umlauf Prize winner Tomassini was perfectly playful and perfectly placed at the Umlauf.
4) BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART PROGRAMMING Between a riveting display of Australian aboriginal art, a fantastic exploration of Ellsworth Kelly's work in conjunction with the opening of Austin, and the thoughtful presentation of Vincent Valdez's "The City," the Blanton put out stellar, challenging exhibitions.
5) "MARGAUX CRUMP: THE LURE" (Women & Their Work) Crystal-encrusted lace panties and silicone protrusions made an indelible impression, but Crump's skillful execution and cogent vision impressed further in this seductive show.
6) "ANN WOOD: QUICK AND QUIET" (Big Medium Gallery) Wood's exploration of grief and impermanence with a maximalist hand and unexpected vibrancy turned the gallery into a wonder-filled memorial space, unsettling and celebratory and remarkable.
7) "DAWN OKORO: PUNK NOIR" (George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center) Okoro's larger-than-life portraits probed style, spirit, and substance to fantastic effect.
8) "ED RUSCHA: ARCHAEOLOGY AND ROMANCE" (Harry Ransom Center) A delve into the archives of an artist who excavated American material culture like an archaeologist in the field proved unsurprisingly compelling.
9) CAGE MATCH PROJECT (Museum of Human Achievement) The ongoing series pits the artist against ... the elements? The project constraints? The viewer? Themselves? Whatever the case, the limitations and freedom of the project have produced some great rounds in the ring, er, cage.
10) DORF GALLERY OPENING This South Austin in-home gallery's warm and welcoming exhibitions made the introduction of the space a highlight of the year.