It's that time: the year in review, with top ten lists everywhere, for everything. Geoff Edgers is going a few steps farther, offering the first installment of his top 27, while Cate McQuaid gives the Globe's look at notable gallery shows of the past year. Jacqueline Humphries makes McQuaid's list; I didn't see the show she describes, but I did see an exhibition of Humphries' work at Williams in 2006. At that time her work struck me as immaculate, the curatorial presentation hit all the right critical notes, and the whole thing left me cold. I don't know if that reaction would stand up to further exposure to her work, but at the time it looked to me as too perfect.
Elsewhere, Matt Nash takes stock and plans for a new year of building the arts scene in New England, while Daniel Grant looks at the news stories revolving around museums in the past 12 months. Both very much worth reading, though not always the happiest stories. Tyler Green, meanwhile, is mixing it up by doing a series of posts on his ten favorite paintings (first post, second post.) I must confess that I've never warmed up to Clyfford Still, but Tyler's still got a good story. I'd try to do something similar, just for fun, but I have no idea what I'd say. I do know that this Stuart Davis would be on the list, though.
What would my top ten for the year look like? I'm not sure I could muster a top five. Howard Hodgkin at Yale would top the list, although given how little I saw in the past year, that judgment shouldn't be granted much weight (also the catalog wasn't very good, though my effort to write about the show was even worse.) I can certainly say that the most anticipated event for me in the coming year is the re-opening of the Currier Museum of Art, tentatively scheduled for the spring. I have missed it terribly and can't wait to see what exhibitions they'll do and how they'll install their collection in the new space. The upcoming exhibition I'm most skeptical about has to be this one, right down to the media partner (what, no tie-in with Filene's Basement?). Regular readers know how much I admire and enjoy the Peabody Essex, and I'm sure they'll manage to put a number of fine things in the galleries, but that looks like just too much of a gimmicky bit of tourist bait to be believed, at least at this point. Beyond that, we'll see what 2008 brings.