Theater & art

The year in arts

Sebastian Smee’s 2014 art picks

 25ragnar Caption : Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012, Nine-channel HD video projection, 64 minutes, Edition 4 of 6, Gift of Graham Gund to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Gund Gallery, Kenyon College. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik. 12ticketart 28yearinart
Courtesy of artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Gallery, Reykjavik
A scene from Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors.”

 Best show Goya: Order and Disorder,” Museum of Fine Arts

 Best contemporary Mika Rottenberg, “Bowls, Balls, Souls, Holes,” Rose Art Museum, Waltham

 Best 20th-Century show Franz West from the Hall Art Foundation, Mass MoCA and Williams College Museum of Art, North Adams and Williamstown


 Best 19th-Century showAn American in London: Whistler & the Thames,” Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover

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 Best Old Master showDonatello, Michelangelo, and Cellini: Sculptors Drawings From Renaissance Italy,” Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

 Best single work TIE: Ragnar Kjartansson, “The Visitors,” Institute of Contemporary Art and William Kentridge, “The Refusal of Time,” Institute of Contemporary Art

 Best group show TIE: “Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present,” Institute of Contemporary Art and “Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings,” Concord Art Association, Concord

 Best local show of local artist “Jon Imber: Carry On,” Danforth Art, Framingham


 Best out-of-state show of local artist “Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of the Brown Sisters,” Museum of Modern Art, New York

 Best design showCalifornia Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way,” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

 Best AmericanCalder and Abstraction: Avant-Garde to Iconic” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

 Best historicalTell It With Pride: the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial,” Massachusetts Historical Society (organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)

 Best collective effort Bernard Langlais Art Trail in Maine, coordinated by Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine


 Three most disappointing showsJim Hodges: Give More Than You Take,” Institute of Contemporary Art; “Jamie Wyeth,” Museum of Fine Arts; Romare Bearden, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H.

 Best pairingMatisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection,” Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley.

 Best new permanent collection installations TIE. Three new ancient Greek galleries, Museum of Fine Arts and Kunstkammer gallery, Museum of Fine Arts

Sebastian Smee can be reached at