January 12, 2016

Contemporary art: the best of 2015

Contemporary Art

Some of the most extraordinary installations of 2015 according to influential online magazine Designboom:

Banksy’s Dismaland: a sinister and engaging show, a playground that appeared out of nowhere in the middle of Somerset, in the UK, resulting in an incredible five-week long collective exhibition of contemporary artists. A parody of the Disney world, complete with decadent castles and provocative anti-establishment, anti-power and anti-consumerism references.

La Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy, has been hosting Anish Kapoor’s Descension exhibition. The most important piece of art on display was an apparently bottomless black hole with swirling dark water incessantly flowing into the floor, a remarkable investigation on the materials employed for depth exploration.

Internationally renowned collective AVL (Atelier Van Lieshout) – a team of creatives with headquarters in Rotterdam – in occasion of Germany’s Ruhrtriennale festival has opted instead for an open-air exhibition, titled ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. A sort of small village dedicated to monumental art with over 20 incredible pieces.

In Tokyo Team Lab designers have purposely set up an installation for the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, titled ‘Floating Flower Garden’, a breathtaking botanical maze made with thousands suspended flowers, while in Lipsia, inside an old gasometer, Berlin-born Yadegar Asisi has projected an immense coral reef on a circular screen, taking visitors on a spectacular virtual diving experience.

2015 was also the year in which Chinese artist Ai Weiwei decided to launch for the first time ever a solo exhibition in his native country. In Beijing, Weiwei took apart and then rebuilt an ancient temple in two different locations: at Galleria Continua and at the adjacent Tang Contemporary Art CenterCenter, crossing the wall that divides the two spaces.

Another important exhibition was held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, in Denmark, called ‘In infinity’ by Yayoy Kusama. One of Japan’s most famous living artists, extremely appreciated in the international art auction world, Yayoy Kusama has introduced her first retrospective exhibition in Scandinavia, a large and representative self portrait.

Inside one of Vienna’s most stunning baroque buildings, Olafur Eliasson in 2015 set up a significant selection of artwork obtained from the city’s Thyssen-Bornemisza private collection of contemporary art (TBA21), but also from Argentine husband-and-wife collecting duo Juan and Patricia Vergez. The avant-garde nature of the artwork on display within a baroque context managed to achieve an extraordinary dramatic effect.

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