2007: a brief recap

Rhichard Serra, “Sculpture: 40 Years” catalogue

2007 was a landmark year for many Art21 artists. Apart from the accolades and prizes bestowed upon such artists as Kara Walker, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jessica Stockholder, Kerry James Marshall, and Cai Guo-Qiang, the multitude of exhibitions featuring Art21 artists reflect the pinnacle stages in many of their careers. While this is an achievement in its own right, we wanted to mention some of the other critical kudos recently published in print and online.

For Robert Ayers of ArtInfo.com, the two sculpture retrospectives organized by MoMA last year, Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years and Martin Puryear (on view through January 14), are the fourth and fifth best shows of 2007. Having already visited [Serra’s] show several times, I actually cancelled all of my plans for its final day so that I could see it one last time,” writes Ayers. About Puryear he notes that the artist, “proves himself here a magician of forms that sit happily at the intersection of abstraction and representation and a poet of implied and suggested appearances and meanings.”

As previously cited in December, the top ten exhibitions of 2007 for Time’s Richard Lacayo include those of artists Richard Serra (#1), Vija Celmins (#3), Martin Puryear (#5), and Kara Walker (#6). For Howard Halle of Time Out New York, Serra’s show at MoMA is one of 2007’s best. Serra put the me in heavy-metal postminimalism, but in this retro of curving labyrinthine slabs, he put you and I and just about everyone else in there, too.” remarks Halle.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the writers from 24 Hour Museum (to be renamed Culture24 this Spring) have their own opinions. Jon Pratty, 24 Hour Museum’s Editor and Head of Content, selected the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at Tate Modern as his top pick. For Pratty, this show (on display through January 20) “was the first in a long time I have seen bringing to life the peculiar talent, skill and craft of a true artist. Everything in her show had been chosen by her, crafted by her, formed by her. It was really inspiring.”

On a more somber note, 2007 sadly marked the death of Season 2 artist Elizabeth Murray, who passed away on August 12. But as Verlyn Klinkenborg writes in the New York Times, “her paintings will be with us for years and years to come.”