An international arts critic group has awarded a controversial LGBT art exhibit at the Smithsonian one of its annual Best in Show awards.
The U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics/AICA-USA announced the award, along with 23 others, this week. The awards honor artists, curators, museums, galleries and other cultural institutions for excellence in the conception and realization of exhibitions.
The winning projects were nominated and voted on by the 400 active members to honor outstanding exhibitions of the previous season – June 2010 to June 2011.
The 24 winners of first and second places in 12 categories, selected from more than 100 finalists, include exhibitions focusing on contemporary artists Christian Marclay, Sarah Sze and Al Weiwei, the 20th century artists Pablo Picasso, Sonia Delaunay, Kurt Schwitters, and Paul Thek, as well as thematic exhibitions dealing with history of drawing through the 20th century, contemporary Japanese art, and Fluxus.
The first place for Best Thematic Museum Show Nationally went to “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” in the National Portrait Gallery, at the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit ran from Oct. 20, 2010, to Feb. 13, 2011. Curators were David C. Ward and Jonathan D. Katz.
Conservatives, especially the Catholic League, objected to the exhibit, specifically a video called “A Fire in My Belly” by the late David Wojnarowicz that included an image of ants crawling on a crucifix. The piece was removed from the show, a decision Smithsonian officials later said was wrong.
Second place in the category went to “The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991,” at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, N.Y., and curated by Helaine Posner and Nancy Princenthal.
• BEST PROJECT IN A PUBLIC SPACE
1. Sarah Sze, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat), The High Line, New York, NY (June 8, 2011 – June 2012), Curator: Lauren Ross
2. Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, Pulitzer Fountain, Grand Army Plaza, New York, NY (May 2 – July 15, 2011); Project Organizer: Larry Warsh/AW Asia
• BEST SHOW IN A NON-PROFIT GALLERY OR SPACE
1. Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art, Japan Society, New York, NY (March 18 – June 12, 2011); Curator: David Elliott
2. Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture 1991-2009, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY (January 23 – March 28, 2011); Curator: Helaine Posner
• BEST SHOW IN A UNIVERSITY GALLERY
1. Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (April 16 – August 7, 2011); Curator: Jacquelynn Baas
2. Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA (September 9 – December 12, 2010); Curators: Chris Scoates and Elizabeth Anne Hanson
BEST ARCHITECTURE OR DESIGN SHOW
1. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (May 4 – August 7, 2011); Curators: Andrew Bolton with the support of Harold Koda
2. Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY (March 18 – June 19, 2011); Curators: Susan Brown and Matilda McQuaid
BEST SHOW INVOLVING DIGITAL MEDIA, VIDEO, FILM OR PERFORMANCE
1. Stan VanDerBeek: The Cultural Intercom, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (February 4 – April 3, 2011 and May 14 – July 10, 2011); Curators: Bill Arning and João Ribas
2. Yael Bartana: A Declaration, “Conversations at the Edge” at the Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (March 10, 2011); Project Organizers: Andrea Green and Amy Beste
• BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY IN NEW YORK
1. Christian Marclay, The Clock, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY (January 21 – February 19, 2011); Producer: Paula Cooper Gallery
2. Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’Amour Fou, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (April 14 – July 15, 2011); Curators: John Richardson and Diana Widmaier Picasso
BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY NATIONALLY
1. Theaster Gates: An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL (April 30 – July 11, 2011); Curators: Kavi Gupta, Julia Fischbach, Peter Skvara, and Theodore Boggs
2. Lari Pittman: New Paintings and Orangerie, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (September 11 – October 23, 2010); Curators: Lari Pittman and Shaun Caley Regen
BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK
1. Paul Thek: Diver, a Retrospective, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (October 31, 2010 – January 9, 2011 and February 5 – May 1, 2011); Curators: Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky
2. Glenn Ligon: AMERICA, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (March 10 – June 5, 2011); Curator: Scott Rothkopf
• BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY
1. Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977, Dia Art Foundation and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (June 25 – October 31, 2011); Curator: Lynne Cooke
2. Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX (October 22, 2010 – January 30, 2011); Curators: Isabel Schulz and Josef Helfenstein
• BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK
1. On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, MoMA, New York, NY (November 21 – February 7, 2011); Curators: Connie Butler and Catherine de Zegher
2. Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918-1936, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (October 1, 2010 – January 9, 2011); Curators: Kenneth E. Silver, assisted by Helen Hsu, and Vivien Greene as curatorial advisor
• BEST HISTORICAL MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY
1. The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, Musée Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris, France, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (May 21 – September 6, 2011, October 5, 2011 – January 22, 2012, and February 28 – June 3, 2012); Curators: Janet Bishop, Cécile Debray, and Rebecca Rabinow
2. Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1738: From Neoclassicism to Expressionism, Neue Galerie, New York, NY (September 16, 2010 – January 10, 2011); Curator: Guilhem Scherf
This year’s nominating committee included art critics Eleanor Heartney, Marek Bartelik, Rebecca Cochran, Peter Frank, Francine Miller and Susan Snodgrass.
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