Jump to content

Best of 2016: Critics Picks

blog intro

As 2016 comes to an end, the "best of" lists are starting to roll out and it's no surprise that Kerry James Marshall's traveling exhibition made the lists of critics, writers, and even architects from Chicago and beyond. Here are some of our highlights from this year's "best ofs":

Best of Art: Kerry James Marshall



One of this year's most widely acclaimed exhibitions, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry—the largest survey of works made by the Chicago-based artist—was named "Hands-Down Best Exhibition" by the Tribune’s Lori Wexman, made it to number one on Steve Johnson's "Top 10 new or temporary Chicago museum exhibits in 2016", and was listed number ten in architect David Adjaye's "Best of 2016 in art" top ten list for Artforum.

By the sheer force of his talent, his works initiate much-needed conversations about visibility, history, and culture.

—David Adjaye, "Best of 2016," Artforum

Best of Art: Andrew Yang

Lori Waxman gave readers a few examples of the beauty that occurred amidst the horrors of 2016. Along with Kerry James Marshall, Andrew Yang’s Chicago Works exhibition made the list as "The Very Big Picture"—a reminder that we are all connected.

BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works" Andrew Yang closes this Sunday, December 31.

Best of 2016: Critics Picks video still


Best of Dance: Kyle Abraham

Abraham spoke truth to power [with] a hint of hope.

—Laura Molzane, "The Best of Dance," Chicago Tribune

on Kyle Abraham

Back in April, Kyle Abraham’s When the Wolves Came In addressed race and social progress through beautiful choreography and music, lauding it one of Laura Molzane's "The Best of Dance 2016" for the Chicago Tribune.

Best of Art Professionals: Omar Kholeif

Online art resource Artsy, informed by UBS's art-news app Planet Art, compiled a list of 2016’s most influential curators. The 20 featured professionals were chosen for their contribution to the field. Our Manilow Senior Curator, Omar Kholeif, was featured alongside Kerry James Marshall: Mastry cocurator Helen Molesworth, and Hamza Walker, Executive Director of LA><ART.

Omar Kholeif

Photo: Maria Ponce, © MCA Chicago

those on the list . . . put the artist first, empowering creatives to do what they do best—helping us to see our realities, and each other, more clearly.

—Artsy Editorial