Best of 2004 and some disappointments

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The best

local genius award–Terry Adkins (image right, from his show at Pageant)

Best indoor show by outdoor artist: David McShane at Artists House

Sexiest art talk: Ernesto Neto

Best night-time video lounge in town (too much glare during the day) at Vox Populi: best so far, Guy Ben-Ner with his lo-tech “Moby Dick” in the kitchen and backwards walking ostriches; best dirty video there, “Chirpy” (okay, so it wasn’t in the video lounge) by John Goras in the “Screwball” show; Sheena Macrea’s layered version of “Dallas” reduced to its essentials.

most long overdue solo museum show–Sarah McEneaney at the ICA

Best stichery–Xiang Yang, a new local artist to keep in our sights (image left from his show at SPECTOR)

endless soap opera —Barnes

endless mini-soap opera–Isaiah Zagar’s garden

slide show rises to art and performance–Zoe Strauss

Special kudos for African art merch and Manet kitsch merch at the Philadelphia Museum of Art gift shop

best random list–Rodger Lapelle’s why do people buy art

most daring experiment by McArthur genius–Kara Walker at the Fabric Workshop and Museum to mixed results

best kept secret immigrant artist–Henry Bermudez (image right, “Viagio Rojo” shown at City Hall).

best ICA makeover–Pepon Osorio

inflammotory situation burns itself out–David Stephens’ cross burning for Slought Foundation

Most disappointing

demise of the Philadelphia Independent, the most stylish newspaper in town.

continued loss of favorite old murals–Sarah McEneaney’s old mural, David Guinn’s old mural near Bookbinder’s, and we still mourn Sidney Goodman’s shrunk-to-irrelevance “I contain multitudes,” proving that in art, size is everything

Philadelphia cuts the Office of Arts and Culture, meanwhile spending more than $100 million to clean up City Hall and then light it up all night.

 

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features & interviews, reviews

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