It seems to be a New Year's tradition to include a list of the best or worst of the past year, and we at Big RED & Shiny are happy to oblige. At the end of 2006 we asked a long list of our writers, editors, and supporters to contribute their thoughts. Just for good measure, we also asked a few curators and other smart folks. Below are the results of our completely unscientific, totally biased and somewhat random list of the best and worst from last year.
If there were any consistencies to our results, they are in the categories of Artist To Watch in 2007 and Gallery to Watch in 2007. Without a doubt, Jane D. Marsching was a clear favorite in the former category, while Axiom Gallery and the Rhys Gallery were tied for the latter. For other categories, the field was wide.
Gallery we will miss the most in 2007
Green Street Gallery
Best alt-space show of 2006
Arthouse! In A Jamaica Plain Condo
Art Cake: The Delicious Transient New Medium at Axiom
Henrik Håkansson Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Artists to watch in 2007
Jane Marshing (a clear favorite)
Catherine D’Ignazio/Institute for Infinitely Small Things
Breakout artist of 2006
Worst of 2006
Art School Confidential
Most over-hyped/overrated/most-over-anticipated event of 2006
The "New" ICA, Boston
Special thanks to our Big RED contributors and editors, as well as Leslie K. Brown of the PRC, Kathleen Bitetti of Artists Foundation, Bill Arning of the List, and Rosie Branson Gill of the Berwick.
For another perspective on these end-of-the-year lists, see Charles Giuliano's "Feeling Listless: Those Year End Awards (A Critic’s Apathy)" at Maverick Arts.