BY Sarah McCrory in Features | 19 DEC 13

Highlights 2013 - Sarah McCrory

Sarah McCrory is the director of Glasgow International, a biennial festival of contemporary art. The next edition is 4 – 21 April 2014.

BY Sarah McCrory in Features | 19 DEC 13

Lucy Skaer / Stephen Sutcliffe, Tramway, Glasgow

Lucy Skaer’s beautiful installation Exit, Voice and Loyalty at Tramway managed to instil a sense of delicacy into a behemoth of a space. Stephen Sutcliffe’s Outwork in the same gallery some months before saw his film about the framing devices of film framed by further films. Meta.

‘Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843–2005’, Glasgow School of Art

This exhibition includes books, samples, folios and designs produced by Stoddard Templeton from the mid-19th to early 21st century. Block- and screen-printed in luscious colours, these designs found their way into the White House and Glasgow Cathedral.

Isa Genzken, MoMA, New York

Undoubtedly joining the ranks of many on this year’s round-up lists, Genzken’s retrospective at MoMA is a delirious kind of alchemy. Employing an installation logic that, on paper, shouldn’t work, this beautifully overhung assault leaves you breathless – until you’ve caught your breath enough to go round again.

‘Concrete Invention’, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

This collection exhibition of Latin American geometric abstraction included a body of work that, embarrassingly, I had a poor knowledge of. Curated around the location and year of production, the exhibition highlighted affinities and relationships between artists, and was a brilliant example of a collection with direction and commitment. There followed a trip to Brazil.

Jimmy Merris, Bloomberg SPACE, London

Jimmy Merris’s film LONDON is a riotous rollick through his home city for ten days in a rented camper van, accompanied by Phillip, a German driver with no bedding or towel, and Paul Pieroni, the curator who organized this exhibition on behalf of SPACE. Following a timeline which takes in Rock Steady Eddie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Café, a Toby Carvery, the ICA and Hampstead Ponds, the trip documents occasional encounters and some of London’s oddities, but is firmly rooted in an underlying feeling of affection for both the city and the friends that become bit-part participants in the expedition. The film is a very narrow view of the city, but it is Merris’s view – and a funny and tender one at that.

‘Soma – Nao Zero’, Phosphorus + Jaqueline Martins, Sao Paulo

This group exhibition in Phosphorus, Sao Paulo, was a collaboration with Jaqueline Martins, a superb gallerist in Sao Paulo who is a pioneer of under-represented or overlooked Brazilian artists. Phosphorus is a converted house in downtown Sao Paulo, which hosts exhibitions and events, manned by Maria Montero. In the show I found two collages, and next to them the artist, Hudinilson Jr. He showed me three books crammed with collaged notes, pictures snipped from catalogues and newspapers. Further investigation revealed a huge archive of beautiful works, made with a certain economy of means but nonetheless wonderful for it. Hudinilson Jr sadly passed away in August. Hopefully posthumous recognition of the incredible body of work he left behind will come quickly.

Notable mentions include Ed Atkins at CCA Glasgow; Jonas Mekas at the Serpentine; Dorothy Iannone at Camden Arts Centre; Martin Creed at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Ad Reinhart at David Zwirner, New York; Nicholas Deshayes at S1 Artspace, Sheffield; Tom of Finland at MOCA, Los Angeles (OK, I confess I haven’t seen this, but its existence is still a highlight).

Poisonous Relationship – Men’s Feelings from Jamie Crewe on Vimeo.

Haim at the O2, Glasgow – GIRLS! Start a band!
The Breeders at The Forum, London – LADIES! Start a band!
Numbers – Glasgow’s resident club mavericks have been going for ten years, but they’re still raving like they’re 20.
Fade to Mind records – STILL.
Beyoncé – visual album, no PR, no hype. Genius. Although I could go for less writhing on the beach, it’s SO Mariah 1997.
Poisonous Relationship – after being played this in my office I set about finding what I thought was the LA-based Jamie Crewe, only to find he lives up the road and studies at Glasgow Art School. Somewhere between Azari & III and Hercules and Love Affair with some great performance thrown in. Hot stuff.

Ian White. He’ll be so sadly missed.
Hudinilson Jr.

Looking Forward

Obviously Glasgow International 2014. No apologies.
Scottish Independence Referendum. It’s going to be fascinating.
2014 Whitney Biennial. Grigely! Aran! Von Heyl! Durham! HUP HUP!
The Commonwealth Games Artistic Gymnastic finals for which I have tickets.

Sarah McCrory is Director of Goldsmiths’ Centre for Contemporary Art, London, UK.