Visual Arts

In Review: Favorite Art Exhibitions of 2011

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9. "Dulce: Bisque without Borders" centered on the work of Franco Mondini-Ruiz at ASU Art Museum's Ceramic Research Center: 

Mondini-Ruiz's antics and art made for one of the most memorable openings I've ever attended, during which the artist pitched his uber-kitschy, yet clever, artwork -- which deals with the cultural clash between El Norte and La Frontera -- like a seasoned hawker on Tijuana's Avenida Revolución. Check out my review and a slideshow of the delightful mayhem

8. "Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other" at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art: 
This Neuenschwander retrospective, organized by New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Irish Museum of Art, was chock full of the Brazilian conceptual artist's performative, video and installation work from the last ten years. For me, the exhibition had only one major flaw - there just wasn't enough work included. We need more thought-provoking conceptual art offerings like this one.  

7. Karolina Sussland at Modified Arts: 
Raising snarkiness to high art, Sussland's photographic miming of inane commercial stock photos made me snort out loud. Here's a recap of Sussland's show... 

6. "IDIOS KOSMOS: KOINOS KOSMOS" at SMoCA: 
Phoenix homeboy Jon Haddock gave us a two-fer exhibition earlier this year in a show that fearlessly dug into the shadowy psychological demi-monde of the comic book and its die-hard fans. In "Masters of Creative Reality," curated by the local artist, he selected work by comic book masters who deal with the slings and arrows of everyday existence; in "Us vs. Them," Haddock's own work sets up the dichotomy between the comic fan's often painfully isolated world and the fantasyland created in comic books. Leave it to Haddock to create that delicious frisson of discomfort in the often dark and foreboding art he disguises as cartoons.

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Kathleen Vanesian