Credit by JP/A. Kurniawan Ulung | Art from Farid Stevy at Biennale Jogja XIV at the Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta
BEST OF 2019: Top 5 Exhibitions Around the World
TRAVEL AND TOURISM Indonesia

BEST OF 2019: Top 5 Exhibitions Around the World

This year’s crop of art exhibitions were more diverse than ever. From unique historical explorations of off-the-beaten-path modernism to comprehensive surveys of whole art scenes, the selections reflect the wide range that continues to be part of art today.

1. Five Bhobh – Painting At An End of an Era at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa

A view of at Five Bhobh at Zeitz MOCCA with a work by Janet Siringwani-Nyabeze on the left and one by Shalom Kufakwatenzi (in collaboration with Troy Makaza) on the right. Image: Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic
A view of at Five Bhobh at Zeitz MOCCA with a work by Janet Siringwani-Nyabeze on the left and one by Shalom Kufakwatenzi (in collaboration with Troy Makaza) on the right. Image: Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic

September 12, 2018–May 31, 2019

Curated by Tandazani Dhlakama

The exhibition was able to capture not only the individual brilliance of each of the 29 artists, but it offered us insight into how their work clustered into relevant topics without feeling forced.  If you didn’t get a chance to see it, then you might want to check out the audio tour on the Zeitz MOCAA website. —Hrag Vartanian

2. Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile(CHAT), The Mills, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

A work by Norberto Roldan that is part of Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life. Image: Alpesh Kantilal Patel/Hyperallergic
A work by Norberto Roldan that is part of Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life. Image: Alpesh Kantilal Patel/Hyperallergic

March 17–June 30

Curated by Takahashi Mizuki

The inaugural exhibition at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT) brought together seventeen artists and collectives from the Asia-Pacific region all of whose works dealt as much with the materiality of textiles (sometimes indirectly via related media) as much as the often-hidden colonialist capitalist exploitation embedded in their warp and weft.—Alpesh Kantilal Patel

3. Michael Rakowitz at Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

Work by Michael Rakowitz at Whitechapel Gallery. Image: Whitechapel Gallery
Work by Michael Rakowitz at Whitechapel Gallery. Image: Whitechapel Gallery

June 4–August 25

Co-curated by Iwona Blazwick and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, together with Habda Rashid at Whitechapel Gallery and Marianna Vecellio at Castello di Rivoli

The creative tension between the monumental and the ephemeral animates the ongoing series The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist where Rakowitz recreates lost treasures of Iraq’s ancient heritage looted during the US invasion of Iraq or destroyed by ISIS using date syrup cans, newspapers, or packaging from food labels. His sculptures are moving reminders that our shared outrage over destroyed antiquities is often accompanied by a collective neglect of those human beings whose lives have been torn asunder by war.—Shiva Balaghi

4. Biennale Jogja XV in various venues around Yogjakarta, Indonesia

Citra Sansmita, “Timur Marah Project” (2019) Five painted scrolls, turmeric, mixed media. Image: Laura Raicovich
Citra Sansmita, “Timur Marah Project” (2019) Five painted scrolls, turmeric, mixed media. Image: Laura Raicovich

October 20–November 30 

Curated by Akiq AW, Arham Rahman, and Penwadee NM

In 2019, the Jogja Biennale focused on art from Indonesia and Southeast Asia. They delivered a complex, multi-layered exhibition that lives up to its claims of centering artists working “on the periphery,” inviting many artists who live outside Indonesia’s artistic hubs to spend time in Jogja (shorthand for Yogyakarta, often spelled Jogjakarta) to make work on-site in advance of the exhibition. This practical solution to the problem of limited shipping funds added to the Biennale’s sense of immediacy. —Laura Raicovich

5. Tracking Frank Stella at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Installation view of Tracking Frank Stella. Image: Rebecca Uchill
Installation view of Tracking Frank Stella. Image: Rebecca Uchill

February 9–April 7

Organized by Stefanie De Winter

Tracking Frank Stella was both an exhibition and a science experiment. Organized by researcher Stefanie De Winter of KU Leuven, the display comprised two small galleries with original and reproduced Frank Stella paintings, and an additional control set of painted panels.  In Tracking Frank Stella, De Winter and team used eye-tracking glasses to record the eye movements of gallery visitor test subjects, in order to assess how humans register the organization of pigment on canvas through optical means.—Rebecca Uchill

Source : This is part of the article originally published in Hyperallergic.

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