Art reviews are a publishing highlight at Hamptons Art Hub. Popular with both readers and staff, we've selected the 20 best art reviews published in 2015 by Hamptons Art Hub. Expect to find the best art writing and art criticism of 2015 by Hamptons Art Hub staff, revealing art exhibitions held in galleries and museums in New York City, The Hamptons and South Florida.

Some selections made our Best Art Review List due to the quality of the writing or its sheer lyricism; other art reviews stood out because of their searing insights into important shows. Other stand outs  compelled from the critic's thorough understanding of the artist's oeuvre (and the decision to share it with readers) while remaining focused on the exhibition at hand, revealing its own contribution to exhibition history.

Art reviews are presented in no particular order.

1.  ART REVIEW: Flotsam Found at MoMA’s “Ocean of Images” by James Croak

Museums show old things arranged into a coherent narrative, such is their charge, but a problem arises when they show old things and market them as new things. This is the situation that currently applies at MoMA, where they have laid a second giant egg (after Bjork the swan), a new iteration of the museum’s reoccurring photography survey, this year entitled “Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015.”

The exhibition was organized by Chief Curator of Photography Quentin Bajac; Lucy Gallun, assistant curator; and Roxana Marcoci, senior curator; with the assistance of Kristen Gaylord, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography...

Read the review here.

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"Sleep for Yvonne Rainer" by Robert Rauschenberg, 1965.

"Sleep for Yvonne Rainer" by Robert Rauschenberg, 1965.

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2.  ART REVIEW: Differing Pop Art Perspectives for Dash and Gillmore at Borghi by Eric Ernst

Even as works by both Tom Dash and Graham Gillmore at Mark Borghi Fine Art in Bridgehampton could be seen as channeling the impulses of Pop Art, each artist approaches the milieu from a dramatically different perspective.

Pop Art is often seen as merely the regurgitation of commercial imagery, or creativity repackaged as an extension of Madison Avenue hucksterism. But as it was first envisioned by a gathering of artists in Great Britain in 1952, the earliest Pop Art arose as a vehicle for the creative community to liberate itself from the stultifying restrictions wrought by both museums and art schools...

Read the review here.

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"Passed Port" by Graham Gilmore, 2011. Oil on enamel on wood panel.

"Passed Port" by Graham Gilmore, 2011. Oil on enamel on wood panel.

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3.  ART REVIEW: “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1 Explores the Way We Were by James Croak

I doubt there is any artwork that costs more than $200 to build in the large “Greater New York” exhibition at MoMA PS1. By contrast, the average piece displayed at Art Southampton, for example, would cost $2,500 to create and frame.

In turn, this is still small change compared to the gloss at the Art Basel-Miami fair every December, where $50,000 castings are routine. And even that doesn’t approach the production costs for the $1 million castings of a Jeff Koons recently at the Whitney, or Anish Kapoor at Versailles...

Read the review here.

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David Hammons, "African American Flag" by David Hammons, date unknown.

David Hammons, "African American Flag" by David Hammons, date unknown.

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4.  ART REVIEW: Joy of Color in Christensen Paintings at Berry Campbell by Eric Ernst

In the retrospective of Dan Christensen’s work currently on display at the Berry Campbell gallery in New York, the viewer is confronted with an artist whose paintings revel in the sheer joy of the fusion of light, movement and color.

Spanning his career from early spray paintings to the final pieces completed just prior to his death in 2007, the exhibition underscores Christensen’s masterful ability to manipulate the canvas in myriad ways, all of which, as Karen Wilkin described in Art in America, were “executed with consummate assurance and a fluid hand”...

Read the review here.

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"Dorado" by Dan Christensen

"Dorado" by Dan Christensen

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5.  ART REVIEW: Gursky Landscapes Offers View of Man’s Paltry Place in Nature by Charles A Riley II

The view of terrestrial life sub specie aeternitatis ("under the aspect of eternity") is a philosophical ideal made commonplace by flight and satellite imagery, yet it remains persistently transcendent. When the monumental landscape photographs of Andreas Gursky hit the mark—most of the time in the focused exhibition of more than 20 examples currently on view at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill—they offer a thoughtful view of man’s paltry place in nature. When they miss from such a height, as in the last two to come from the studio, they belly-flop embarrassingly...

Read the review here.

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"Bangkok IX" by Andreas Gursky, 2011. Inkjet print, 212 x 87 inches. © Andreas Gursky, VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn./ ARS, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

"Bangkok IX" by Andreas Gursky, 2011. Inkjet print, 212 x 87 inches. © Andreas Gursky, VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn./ ARS, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

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6.  ART REVIEW: Photography from Cuba Looks Behind the 90-Mile Stare by James Croak

The new Southampton Arts Center has eclipsed other regional institutions with a perfectly timed and involving exhibit of Cuban photographs and political posters taken and printed over the past 65 years on the island 90 miles south of Florida.  The show was curated by the team of Cubano art historian and professor Iliana Cepero and Pauline Vermare from New York’s International Center for Photography, and they truly show their stuff...

Read the review here.

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Gilda Perez, Untitled, from the series La Habana, 1988.

Gilda Perez, Untitled, from the series La Habana, 1988.

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7.  ART REVIEW: North Miami’s MOCA Redefines Permanent Collection by Elisa Turner

North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is redefining itself amid its own "reverse diaspora." Now on view at the museum, "Ars Memoria" is a thoughtful selection of more than 40 artworks from its permanent collection. There was a moment, though, when it seemed a possibility that these artworks might never again be shown at MOCA, as they could have been permanently displaced from their museum "homeland....

Read the review here.

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"Ars Memoria; Selections from the Permanent Collection." MOCA gallery installation showing Mariko Mori, "Entropy of Love," 1996
. Photograph on aluminum, plywood and formica, 120 x 240 x 2 inches, Gift of the Artist and Deitch Projects, New York. Photo by Francesco Casale, Courtesy of MOCA North Miami.

"Ars Memoria; Selections from the Permanent Collection." MOCA gallery installation showing Mariko Mori, "Entropy of Love," 1996
. Photograph on aluminum, plywood and formica, 120 x 240 x 2 inches, Gift of the Artist and Deitch Projects, New York. Photo by Francesco Casale, Courtesy of MOCA North Miami.

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8.  ART REVIEW: Borne Back to the Past: Anna Walinska at Lawrence Fine Art by Charles A Riley II

North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is redefining itself amid its own "reverse diaspora." Now on view at the museum, "Ars Memoria" is a thoughtful selection of more than 40 artworks from its permanent collection. There was a moment, though, when it seemed a possibility that these artworks might never again be shown at MOCA, as they could have been permanently displaced from their museum "homeland."

Read the review here.

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"Cityscape" by Anna Walinska, 1952. Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

"Cityscape" by Anna Walinska, 1952. Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches.

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9.  ART REVIEW: Teach a Woman To Fish: Tara Donovan at The Parrish Art Museum by Janet Goleas

Known for chimerical, site-responsive, often massive installations in museums and galleries across the world, the artist Tara Donovan has landed this summer in Water Mill. On view at the Parrish Art Museum through October 12, 2015, three hypnotic works by the Brooklyn-based artist recalculate the ordinary, commuting the prosaic into breathtaking expanses of serpentine ringlets, helices and spirals.

Read the review here.

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Installation view of Platform: Tara Donovan. Untitled, 2015. Slinky®s. Parrish Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York. Photo by Gary Mamay.

Installation view of Platform: Tara Donovan. Untitled, 2015. Slinky®s. Parrish Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York. Photo by Gary Mamay.

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10.  ART REVIEW: “Elaine de Kooning Portrayed”: Absorbing Window into History by Charles A Riley II

“She had such beautiful hair,” Willem de Kooning said about the 20-year-old, Flatbush-born Elaine Marie Fried, the daughter of a German baker-turned-accountant for a bakery. Some 14 years his junior, she became de Kooning’s private pupil (pause here for knowing chortle) in the late fall of 1938. And that thick, reddish brown hair is a prominent feature in the absorbing and historically valuable exhibition “Elaine de Kooning Portrayed” organized by Helen Harrison, director of the Pollock-Krasner House, where it is on view through October 31, 2015...

Read the review here.

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"Self Portrait" by Elaine de Kooning.

"Self Portrait" by Elaine de Kooning.

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11.  ART REVIEW: Glexis Novoa Draws Big Picture in “Emptiness” by Elisa Turner

A watery chill cloaks the installation by Glexis Novoa at Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami. Occupying a single gallery, it's paradoxically filled with the aura of absence and loss.

The title itself says volumes regarding an exhibit emphatically devoid of art objects that can be handled and transported. "Glexis Novoa: Emptiness" deliberately gives viewers little to examine and deceptively little to experience.

Read the review here.

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"Emptiness" by Glexis Novoa. Photo: Daniel Portnoy.

"Emptiness" by Glexis Novoa. Photo: Daniel Portnoy.

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12.  ART REVIEW: The Pilgrim Soul of Anya Gallaccio by Janet Goleas

Since her emergence in the late 1980s, Anya Gallaccio has been embraced by the art world for site-specific works that are transitory, conceptually rich and often majestic in scale. In both thought and in actuality, her methodology is one framed by organic, climatic, chemical or geological contingencies. Decay and decomposition are commuted to resurrection; what is fleeting becomes permanent; what is unseen becomes material...

Read the review here.

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Front: "I love you more than moments we have or have not shared" by Anya Gallaccio, 2014. Limestone, Sandstone, 45 3/4 x 45 3/4 x 45 3/4 inches. Back: "If recollecting were forgetting" by Anya Gallaccio, 2006-2013. Gold lame thread, pins, 118 1/8 x 70 7/8 inches. Photo by Jenny Gorman.

Front: "I love you more than moments we have or have not shared" by Anya Gallaccio, 2014. Limestone, Sandstone, 45 3/4 x 45 3/4 x 45 3/4 inches. Back: "If recollecting were forgetting" by Anya Gallaccio, 2006-2013. Gold lame thread, pins, 118 1/8 x 70 7/8 inches. Photo by Jenny Gorman.

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13.  ART REVIEW: In “Facades,” Cunningham Uses Fashions to Change Our Sense of Time by James Croak

Bill Cunningham was a fashion journalist for the Chicago Tribune who crossed over into fashion photography by combining street photography with a style anthropology of his own making. His snapshots of clothing trends randomly coalescing on the streets of New York have been a steady and sought after feature of the The New York Times since the 1970s.

A curious project that he launched in 1968 involved photographing a costumed model in front of older NYC buildings dressed in the fashion of the year the building was built. This eight-year project, titled “Facades,” is the basis for an engaging show currently on display at the Southampton Arts Center on Jobs Lane in Southampton Village...

Read the review here.

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Editta Sherman riding a 1970’s era NYC subway car to a shoot. Photo by Bill Cunningham.

Editta Sherman riding a 1970’s era NYC subway car to a shoot. Photo by Bill Cunningham.

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14.  ART REVIEW: A “Most Wanted” List from Deborah Kass by Janet Goleas

Whether Deborah Kass is expounding on gender politics, critiquing the graphics of Athenian vases or skewering the art world’s male-dominated canon, the work of this Long Island-born artist pulls no punches.

Cheeky, smart and subversive, Kass has been questioning the status quo in popular culture and 20th century American art for more than three decades. At Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum in 2012, her first retrospective was widely celebrated for its incisive cultural parody and keen focus on the politics of identity...

Read the review here.

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"America's Most Wanted, Terrie S." by Deborah Kass, 1998. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, diptych, 48 x 40 inches each.

"America's Most Wanted, Terrie S." by Deborah Kass, 1998. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, diptych, 48 x 40 inches each.

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15.  ART REVIEW: Ecstatically Chromatic Works by Larry Poons and Syd Solomon by Charles A Riley II

Are you ready for some strong color? Go west, young paintaholic, to Chelsea for the two most ecstatically chromatic shows in New York. Both feature artists using acrylic (nothing gives the bounce of hue, value and chroma like it) who were bold-faced names by the 1970s: Larry Poons at Danese/Corey, and Syd Solomon at Berry Campbell. Syd Solomon was a fixture on the Hamptons scene beginning in the glory days when giants roamed the beaches, including his friends Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Alfonso Ossorio. It was Syd Solomon who hosted the first artists vs. writers softball game in 1966...

Read the review here.

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"Lure of Westlight" by Syd Solomon, 1977. Acrylic and aerosol enamel on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. © Estate of Syd Solomon 2014.

"Lure of Westlight" by Syd Solomon, 1977. Acrylic and aerosol enamel on canvas, 60 x 48 inches. © Estate of Syd Solomon 2014.

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16.  ART REVIEW: Familiar Works from The Whitney’s Closet by Charles a Riley II

Could there be a more exciting conversation starter than the inaugural exhibition at a fresh new museum?

The often rewarding, sometimes exasperating “America Is Hard to See” (the title is a line from a Robert Frost poem) exhibition at the new Whitney Museum of American Art on Gansevoort Street was organized by an in-house team led by Donna de Salvo, chief curator of the museum. It pulls 600 works from the racks, dating from 1900 to an opening-day commission, in a generous survey that mines the museum’s eccentric history. Presiding over the show is the doyenne herself, Gertrude Whitney surveying us like Madame Recamier from her chaise lounge on the first floor in a 1916 portrait by Robert Henri...

Read the review here.

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"Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney" by Robert Henri (1865-1929), 1916. Oil on canvas, 49 15/16 x 72 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Flora Whitney Miller 86.70.3.

"Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney" by Robert Henri (1865-1929), 1916. Oil on canvas, 49 15/16 x 72 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Flora Whitney Miller 86.70.3.

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17.  ART REVIEW: Jules Feiffer’s New Twist on Mother’s Day by James Croak

Jules Feiffer is an American icon who needs no introduction. His extensive accomplishments over his 86 years have earned him accolades in both film and literature, including an Academy Award in 1961 for the film “Munro” and a Pulitzer in 1986 for editorial cartooning.

Originally from the Bronx, Feiffer has published dozens of books, written plays and screenplays, and has illustrated children's books. His weekly Village Voice cartoon ran for more than 40 years earning him the prestigious George Polk journalism award. He was the first editorial page cartoonist for The New York Times, a position he held for four years...

Read the review here.

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From "Kill My Mother" by Jules Feiffer (Liveright Publishing Corporation)
, 20 x 16
 inches.

From "Kill My Mother" by Jules Feiffer (Liveright Publishing Corporation)
, 20 x 16
 inches.

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18.  ART REVIEW: Spiderman Joe Zucker at the Parrish Art Museum by James Croak

In the Parrish Perspectives exhibition “Joe Zucker: Life & Times of an Orb Weaver,” the Parrish Art Museum is showing drawings, prints and constructed paintings of spiders and their webs, imagery a bit more mainstream than one might imagine at first glance.

Why do we call the internet “the Web,” as in spider web? Born as the “hypertext stack” perhaps that nomenclature wasn’t catchy enough, and “hypertext browser” even less so. But World Wide Web, the image of an expanding spider web, held the conceptual cachet that did the trick for those pioneering computer scientists...

Read the review here.

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"Subject: Photograph of Black Widow Spider: Tarred & Feathered Outside Plant City, FLA, Sept 19, 1907 (Riverhouse Editions Project)" by Joe Zucker, 1991. Felt-tipped pen on paper, 24 x 18 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, Gift of Julia Childs Augur, 2014.10.9.

"Subject: Photograph of Black Widow Spider: Tarred & Feathered Outside Plant City, FLA, Sept 19, 1907 (Riverhouse Editions Project)" by Joe Zucker, 1991. Felt-tipped pen on paper, 24 x 18 inches. Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, Gift of Julia Childs Augur, 2014.10.9.

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19.  ART REVIEW: Ai Weiwei’s “@Large” on Alcatraz by Charles A Riley II

On my first day in San Francisco, I was under starter’s orders from my art-aholic hostess Candy Caldwell: As soon as the plane lands at SFO, hustle to the Embarcadero in time for the last ferry to Alcatraz. Do not pass the Golden Gate Bridge or smash a crab on Fisherman’s Wharf.  No cocktail at the Top of the Mark overlooking Nob Hill. I didn’t even get my one phone call. I was heading straight to prison...

Read the review here.

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"Stay Tuned" by Ai Weiwei, 2014. (Installation detail, A Block, Alcatraz). Photo: Jan Stürmann, courtesy FOR-SITE Foundation.

"Stay Tuned" by Ai Weiwei, 2014. (Installation detail, A Block, Alcatraz). Photo: Jan Stürmann, courtesy FOR-SITE Foundation.

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20.  ART REVIEW: “Café Dolly” Show Traces Flow of Influence by James Croak

In a bold stroke, the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Museum of Art (MOAFL) in Ft. Lauderdale presents an object lesson in how the influence of a Danish artist, who worked in the latter half of the 19th century, can still be seen in the work of one of the more successful artists of the second half of the 20th and into the 21st.

The Danish artist is the slightly known expressionist J.F. Willumsen (1863-1958) and the exhibition is “Café Dolly: Picabia, Schabel and Willumsen”, on view at MOAFL through February 1. Mixed in with the works of Willumsen are rarely seen works by the better known Dadaist Francis Picabia (1879–1953) and newer work by the suddenly resurgent Julian Schnabel (b. 1951), who—as might be expected—is the main draw...

Read the review here.

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"Las Niňas" by Julian Schnabel, 1997. Oil, resin, and enamel on canvas. Collection of the artist. © 2014 Julian Schnabel / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

"Las Niňas" by Julian Schnabel, 1997. Oil, resin, and enamel on canvas. Collection of the artist. © 2014 Julian Schnabel / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Looking for more Year in Review stories? Visit "Staff Picks: Top Hamptons Shows from 2015" and "Readers Choice: Top 15 Stories in 2015".

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Copyright 2015 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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