Best Art Exhibits of 2015: The ‘Dear Readers’ Edition

Partial glimpse of "between a place and candy," Norte Maar's blockbuster of a Brooklyn show, so to speak, in the middle of Manhattan. Image courtesy Norte Maar.

It’s already the time of year for far more ‘best of’ lists than the Internet already produces in other months, and we here at Brooklyn Magazine are looking hollily, jollily forward to dropping a number of them on you in the coming weeks. Because we love thinking about them. And we love compiling them. And we love sharing them.

And because we know that you, Dear Readers, love them every bit as much as we do. You do, you know it. You really do. (Right? Great!)

Well, since you love them so much, and since it’s also perhaps a bit early for such lists to start really inundating your social media feeds, we thought it would be inclusively fun and timely to ask a big group of Dear Readers to chime in—prior to the proper deluge—regarding their favorite art exhibitions of 2015, in Brooklyn and beyond.

So here are lots of great picks and occasional descriptions from a splendid group of mostly Brooklyn-based artists, writers and curators.

It’s like an early holiday gift.


Jack Davidson. Image Courtesy Theodore:Art.

Sharon Butler
Jack Davidson at Theodore:Art
Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine
Bushwick Open Studios
“Elements,” a group show at Minus Space
“Greater New York,” Moma PS1
Albert Oehlen at New Museum
“The Painter of Modern Life,” organized by Bob Nickas at Anton Kern
Stanley Whitney at The Studio Museum
Louise Fishman at Cheim & Read

Owen Houhoulis
“Passing Left,” curated by Enrico Gomez / The Dorado Project, at the Buggy Factory
“Loominosity,” curated by John Silvis, Outlet Gallery
“Sasha Bezzubov: Republic of Dust,” Front Room Gallery
“Common Room,” curated by Bjorn Meyer Ebrecht in his studio during BOS
“Surround Audience,” New Museum Triennial Exhibition
“Death Becomes Her,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Center
“Atsushi Kaga: I am Here With You,” Jack Hanley Gallery
“Garden of Unearthly Delights: Manabu Ikeda, Hisashi Tenmyouya and Team Lab,” Japan Society NYC

Enrico Gomez
“Cult of the Fall,” solo exhibition of Lars Van Dooren at Honey Ramka. A shaman punches a hole through a dimensional wall, revealing jewels, sacred intellect, & an altar to the gods of incense & time.
“Passersby,” solo exhibition of Elin Rødseth at Owen James Gallery. Photopolymer and woodcut prints, both ghostly and familiar.
“Thomas Lendvai: 10,” at Odetta Gallery. Brooklyn-based sculptor literally shifts the context and substrate of the exhibition format, boxing the white box with a mean left hook.
“Chronicles in Wait,” 4-person Centotto exhibition at The Buggy Factory. Sculptures and sound pieces by Dave Henderson, Nathaniel Lieb, Jack Henry and Oliver Jones transform a historic brick barn into a temple to the sculpture gods and/or Plato’s Cave.

Karen Schiff
“Painting, More Or Less,” an international invitational curated by Rob de Oude at Transmitter (through December 6)
“Looking Out,” Rachel Whiteread at Luhring Augustine (through December 20)
“Dance the Orange,” Stanley Whitney’s solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem
“Equal,” Richard Serra at David Zwirner

Jeff Feld at Fresh Window Gallery. Photo by Paul D'Agostino.

Tom Butter
Patrick Killoran at Studio 10
Lars van Dooren at Honey Ramka
Jeff Feld at Fresh Window
“Chronicles in Wait,” Centotto at The Buggy Factory

Larry Greenberg
Some of my favorite Brooklyn shows were at Studio 10, including Patrick Killoran’s “Exeunt Angels,” and “Endless Broken Time,” an ongoing series of performances by Matt Freedman and Tim Spelios. Outside of Brooklyn, the Sarah Charlesworth exhibition at The New Museum was a revelation. I actually went there to see the Albert Oehlen show, which was quite good. But the Charlesworth was an unexpected experience.

Leslie Kerby
Minus Space, “Melissa Kretchmer / Russell Maltz: Plywood”
Robert Henry Contemporary, “A Random Meander: James Cullinane, Nene Humphrey and Taney Roniger,” as well as “Elise Engler’s A Year on Broadway”
BRIC | Arts | Media, “Juan Sánchez Solo Exhibition”
Studio 10, “Meg Hitchcock: Verbatim”
Philip Taaffe at Luhring Augustine Bushwick
Site: Brooklyn, “Men in Boats – Mike Howard”
Pierogi, “Jane Fine: Contents Under Pressure”
Matteawan Gallery, “Thomas Huber Merge” and “Sharon Butler: New Social Situations.” This Beacon gallery shows a number of Brooklyn-based artists.

Patricia Fabricant
Schema Projects, “Peregrinations, Constellations”
Brooklyn Museum, “Judith Scott”
“Alice Neel: Drawings and Watercolors 1927-1978,” Zwirner
“America is Hard to See,” Whitney Museum
“between a place and candy: new works in pattern + repetition + motif,” Norte Maar at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery

Elana Herzog at Studio 10. Image courtesy Studio 10.

Jeffrey Bishop
Elana Herzog at Studio 10
Bobbie Oliver at Valentine
Eduardo Paolozzi at Clearing
Philip Taaffe at Luhring Augustine Bushwick
Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars

Lisa Hein
Moriah Evans, “Social Dance 1-8: Index,” at Issue Project Room
Lindsay Packer in “spacetime,” at SOHO20 Gallery, +/- Project Space, and “Senses Bureau,” at Present Company
Wooster Group, “Early Shaker Spirituals,” at St Ann’s Warehouse
Elana Herzog, “Shift; The Angel of History,” at Studio 10
Creative Time’s “Drifting in Daylight: Art in Central Park,” especially David Levine’s “Private Moment”
Penelope Umbrico, “Shallow Sun,” at the Aldrich Museum
Mike Smith, “Excuse me!?!…I’m looking for the “Fountain of Youth,” at Greene Naftali
No Longer Empty’s “When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out,” a group show of site projects at vacant Old Bronx Courthouse.

Anna Ortiz
I’d have to say the most memorable show for me this year was Matt Fisher’s solo at Sardine, in Bushwick. I was so impressed with the intimacy of the work and the consideration to the framing and hanging. Fisher was able to say so much with so very little.

Yashua Klos. Image courtesy Tilton Gallery

Kate Teale
“Chronicles in Wait,” with David Henderson, Jack Henry, Oliver Jones and Nathaniel Lieb, Centotto at The Buggy Factory
Dawn Clements, “Mother’s Day,” at Pierogi
Elana Herzog, “Shift; The Angel of History,” at Studio10
Leon Golub, “Riot,” at Hauser & Wirth
Susan Frecon, “Oil Paintings & Sun,” at David Zwirner
Jerry Kearns, “Diva’s Song,” at Mike Weiss
Yashua Klos, “As Below, So Above,” at Tilton

Sophia Chizuco
“Last GREXIT to Brooklyn,” at Centotto
“Urban Wild,” at Honey Ramka
“Second Nature, Mark Dorf + Julia Lorber,” at OUTLET
“Archimedes’ Bathtub,” at Lorimoto
“between a place and candy: new works in pattern + repetition + motif,” Norte Maar at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery
Doris Salcedo at Guggenheim

Elizabeth Livingston. Image courtesy The Lodge Gallery.

Jason Patrick Voegele
Studio 10, “Meg Hitchcock: Verbatim” (still on view through mid-December): Cut-out collage drawings from religious and historical texts. The burka drawn from collaged letters cut out of the collected writings of Emily Dickinson was my favorite.
Smack Mellon, “Saya Wolfalk – Chima TEK Beta L”: Installation. Saya makes work that is like eye candy with a muscular brain.
Honey Ramka, “Strange Friends”: Mostly because I got to see one of my favorite painters, Thomas Stevenson.
Clearing Gallery, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, “My Epidemic (A Body as Public as a Book can be)”
The Lodge Gallery, “Post Human Utopia”: This show spoke for itself in the language of birds and plants.
Bitforms Gallery, Zimoun, “[KE]3”
“New York Academy of Art 2015 Fellows Exhibition,” at Mark Miller Gallery: Young and fresh out of the gate, all three of these painters transcend. Not what I would have expected, and so much more.
Yancey Richardson Gallery, Rachel Perry Welty: Composed of objects accumulated from around her home, Yancey opened up the fall season with this show. Unusual for what is normally a photography gallery. It was so well curated and installed that it made me smile and write to the artist.

Keith Schweitzer
Lina Puerta, “Traces,” at Jack Geary Contemporary
Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili, “Kiosk,” at Odetta Gallery
Elizabeth Livingston, “Night Fell,” at The Lodge Gallery
Ann Agee, “Domestic Translations,” at P•P•O•W
Jim Shaw, “The End is Here,” at New Museum
Zimoun, “[KE]³,” at Knockdown Center

Bob Seng
Paul Gagner and David Kramer in “No Irony Here”, at Parlour Bushwick
Jeff Feld at Fresh Window
“Thrice Legendary, or Forever Thens,” at Centotto
Lindsay Packer in “spacetime,” at SOHO20 Gallery, +/- Project Space, and “Senses Bureau,” at Present Company
Lindsay Packer and Christine Sculli in “Luminary,” at Brooklyn Fireproof
Elana Herzog, “Shift; The Angel of History,” at Studio 10
Paul Gagner’s work in some frame shop in Chelsea
Whitney Museum inaugural exhibit
Martin Puryear at Matthew Marks
“Checkered History,” at Outpost
“Picasso Sculpture,” at MOMA
Creative Time’s “Drifting in Daylight: Art in Central Park,” especially David Levine’s “Private Moment”
Lynda Benglis and Mark DeSuvero at Storm King

Loren Munk at Flecker Gallery. Image courtesy Flecker Gallery.

Paul Behnke
Brenda Goodman at Life on Mars Gallery
“Generative Processes: Alex Paik and Debra Ramsay,” at TSA
Samuel Laurence Cunnane at Theodore: Art
“Gili Levy: Recent Work,” at No.4 Studio
Loren Munk at Flecker Gallery, Suffolk County Community College
“Rosalyn Drexler: Vulgar Lives,” at Garth Greenan Gallery
“Russell Floersch: Unseen,” at 57W57 Arts
“Brett Baker: Recent Paintings,” at Elizabeth Harris Gallery

Deborah Brown
Dan Bainbridge, “Bestiary,” at Art3
Philip Taaffe at Luhring Augustine Bushwick
“Making History: Exhibition and AiB Benefit 2015,” at Storefront Ten Eyck (for sentimental reasons)
“Iterations: Lisa Beck, Michael Scott, Jay Shinn,” at Theodore:Art
Wael Shawky, “Cabaret Crusades,” at MoMA PS1
Joyce Pensato at Petzel
Maureen Gallace at 303
“Picasso Sculpture,” at MoMA
Jannis Kounellis, “Untitled (Twelve Horses),” at Gavin Brown

Dan Bainbridge at Art3. Image courtesy Art3.

Jonathan Stevenson
“Judith Dolnick: Paintings” and “Lucy Mink: Comes in the Moment, So Please Stay in Touch,” Outlet
“The NEWD Art Show,” Bushwick Open Studios
“Something Naught,” Centotto
“Vernacular: Eric Brown, Sharon Butler, Joyce Robins, Andrew Seto,” Theodore:Art
“Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting,” Guggenheim Museum
“Robert Gober: The Heart is Not a Bad Metaphor,” MoMA
Louise Fishman at Cheim & Read
“Joseph Zito: The First Thirty Years, 1985-2015,” Lennon Weinberg

Jac Lahav
“Sara Shaoul: Strange Labor,” at Booklyn, an artist-run bookmakers organization in Greenpoint: An awesome show exploring the connection between the female body and socio-economic forces.
“Whizzer,” Black Ball Projects (up now, by appointment only): New artist-run gallery from masterminds Harriet Salmon, Jason Tomme and Ana Wolovick. Surreal gouache pizza ducks and baseball bats in concrete, need I say more?
“The Violent Study Club,” Stout Projects (up now): A group show featuring the darkness of Vincent Como and the trippy stitched paintings of Jonathan Cowan (with work by Karen Baumeister and Debra Ramsay).

Cody Healey-Conelly
BFPCreative, “Luminary”
Storefront Gallery, “Fractured Atlas”
NurtureArt, “Sextant”
Bitforms, Jonathan Monaghan, “Escape Pod”
New Museum, “Jim Shaw: The End Is Here”
Louisiana Museum, “Jeff Wall: Tableaux Pictures Photographs”
Mass Moca, “Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen and Imagined”


Paul D’Agostino is @postuccio on Instagram and Twitter.



  1. Thank you Paul for starting the season of giving in this wonderful way. Am psyched that ODETTA made the list and that Thomas Lendvai got the recognition that his ambitious vision deserves.

    your support of the gallery has been terrific. Thank you again

    all my best,


  2. wow, gave this another read, thank you Keith Schweitzer for including Kiosk, our current show, in your list. Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili are paired in this terrific exhibition loaded with cautionary tales. You can see it thru Jan 3. Artist Talk is coming up on Sunday Dec 20 at 3 pm. Meet the artists and learn a bit more about their research, concepts and process.