All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

Best of CH 2012: Art

CULTURE

Best of CH 2012: Art

Our top picks from an extraordinarily prolific year of creative human skill

by CH Editors
on 31 December 2012

The contemporary art market reached a fever pitch in 2012, with record-breaking sales occurring around the world at auctions and art fairs alike. While that may have more to do with economics, we couldn't help but notice the astounding amount of compelling art prompting us to take note this year. From photographs of the wild by Alaskan fisherman Corey Arnold to Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin's interactive digital woodlands at the Tate Modern, we whittled down our list of favorites to a mere eight for a quick look at some of the most outstanding artists and exhibitions of 2012.

ch2012-bauhaus.jpg
Bauhaus: Art as Life

London's Barbican Art Gallery offered an extensive look at Bauhaus—the U.K.'s largest exhibit on the school in four decades—with a 400-piece show covering a wide swathe of topics. We spoke to curator Catherine Ince who gave us insight on how its historic design influence and socially oriented attitude remains relevant today.

ch2012-ian-ruhter.jpg
Ian Ruhter

Our interview with self-taught tintype photographer Ian Ruhter exposed his meticulous process and the journey behind making the largest wet-plate print ever. "Even though everyone was telling me that it was impossible, I believed I could do it," he told us of his technique, which involves using an ultra-rare lens and custom-built plates.

ch2012-jen-stark.jpg
To The Power Of

We've been impressed with Jen Stark's labor-intensive work since coming across it in 2008. We finally had the opportunity to catch up with the Miami native at her studio in LA this year, where she shed light on her overall practice as well as her recent psychedelic math-inspired show, "To The Power Of."

ch2012-corey-arnold.jpg
Graveyard Point

Corey Arnold has been fishing for about as long as he's been taking photos. Every summer Arnold runs a commercial salmon fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska, obsessively documenting the grueling nature of "fish-work" with an unrivaled sensibility. Days before his Portland show "Graveyard Point," Arnold gave us a personal glimpse into the soulful world of men at sea.

ch2012-moma-unadulterated.jpg
MoMA Unadulterated

Looking to shake up the context of art as we know it, Audio Tour Hack recruited a posse of kids to provide their own special commentary for their candid venture, "MoMA Unadulterated." Their clever take on the guided audio tour allowed guests to hear the insights of children on 30 of the museum's permanent works by artists like Pollock, Lichtenstein and Warhol.

ch2012-Exquisite-forest.jpg
This Exquisite Forest

Building upon their digitally groundbreaking video for Arcade Fire, "The Wilderness Downtown," Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (head of the Data Arts Team at the Google Creative Lab) joined forces again, creating an interactive digital woodland at London's Tate Modern. We spoke with Koblin who told us for him, creating "This Exquisite Forest" is pretty much "a dream job, for a nerd who's into art."

ch2012-compulsion1.jpg ch2012-compulsion2.jpg
Compulsion

Celebrated contemporary photographer Alex Prager returned to gallery walls this year with a tri-city exhibition of her new work, a fantastic series called "Compulsion." The compelling solo show included an array of photos that reflect her interest in the emotion expressed solely through a person's eyes, and the powerful foundation they provide for provoking mystery.

ch2012-intimate-museums.jpg
Institute of Intimate Museums

In artist Kenji Sugiyama's series, "Institute of Intimate Museums," empty pasta boxes contain lilliputian scenes of museum-goers standing in halls of shrunken art. Using everything from inlaid wood to dated wallpaper, Sugiyama's impeccably detailed interiors are head-scratching for their complexity, and his choice of packaging—that of a post-consumer food containers—likewise had viewers guessing.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft
Loading More...