Keith J. Varadi is an artist, writer, and curator currently based in Los Angeles. He is a co-founder and member of the collective, Picture Menu. Here are his selections for the best shows of 2013:
1. Larry Bamburg, BurlsHoovesandShells at Simone Subal Gallery, New York
Jerry-rigged ecosystems, towers constructed from bones and gold, and artificial earth compositions made for, hands down, one of the most profoundly perplexing shows in recent memory (at one of the most consistently superb galleries in New York).
2. Carol Bove, RA, or Why is an orange like a bell? at Maccarone, New York
Nobody combines smart and sexy better than Ms. Bove, and this is arguably her smartest and sexiest affair yet, continuing on with her rigorously researched explorations into ascetic aesthetics.
3. Elizabeth Jaeger, Music Stand at Eli Ping, New York
A nude woman with a devilishly delightful look on her face, straddling a suited man with her hand caught mid-caress on his face, provided a subtle subversion of power in the intimate Lower East Side basement gallery this past summer; oh, and there was a saxophonist playing every Sunday afternoon during its run.
4. Jamian Juliano-Villani, Me, Myself, and Jah at Rawson Projects, New York
After creating substantial buzz at this past spring’s otherwise generally confused NADA fair in New York, this little firecracker could be seen everywhere throughout the boroughs and on the Internet, and this Brooklyn gallery made a wise move by opening the fall season with her, as she is rapidly asserting herself as a demented voice to be reckoned with.
5. Paul McCarthy: White Snow at The Park Avenue Armory, New York
Rarely has commentary been so abundant amidst a viewer’s navigation throughout an exhibition—comments of amusement and disgust echoed within the Upper East Side’s cavernous space—and for good reason; this modern pop-fused Bacchanalia completely transformed the public’s idea of what an art show truly can be.
See top 5’s from other NY Arts contributors here.