Top 10 Art Encounters 2015

In the last few days of 2015, The Art Partners created the list of top art encounters of the outgoing year. It is very subjective selection, and each of the chosen show was in its own way striking, had emotional resonance or very personal engagement with us. It’s always good to look behind and to remember the best art moments of the year and look for the new ones in 2016.


Japan pavilion The Key in the Hand at 56th Venice Biennial 2015

The 56th Venice Biennial was full of exciting projects and saturated exhibition program, it was truly a must destination for all art lovers and professionals in 2015. The Art Partners have been impressed by many installations and pavilions, but wanted to highlight especially the pavilion by Japan. The exhibition space was full of keys suspending from the ceiling and filled with red yarn. The keys in our daily life protect valuable assets such as houses, possessions, even safety. They accumulate memories from people's hands, the warmth of the palms. The symbolization of individual countless memories and personal experience inspired us to include specifically this project to our list as a number one because they both are about memories and bright flashbacks.

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Ai Weiwei show at Royal Academy of Arts

Major single Ai Wei Wei show to date – it was long-awaited exhibition in London, which became the absolute blockbuster. The show started already from the outside - with eight individual trees placed together in the Annenberg Courtyard, and was very ambitious in its scale and realisation. It was the opportunity to see the most important works from the time Ai Wei Wei returned to China from the US in 1993 right up to present day. Besides, in 2015 Ai Wei Wei finally received his passport back from the Chinese government and has an opportunity now to travel openly – that was one of the most discussed facts around this artist.



SoundScapes at National Gallery

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In 2015 National Gallery hosted a lot of great shows, one of which was SoundScapes. For this project, curators have commissioned musicians and sound artists to select a painting from the collection and compose a new piece of music or sound art in response. This exhibition took a fresh view of National Gallery paintings. The artists were: Nico Muhly, Susan, Philipsz OBE, Jamie xx, Gabriel Yared Chris Watson. Jamie xx sound interpretation of Van Rysselberghe’s Coastal Scene was absolutely stunning and mesmerising. The project has created a uniquely peaceful atmosphere and induces a sense of relaxation. The famous paintings were presented in a new way and visitors had the opportunity to see them in a different light.


Other selected paintings were: The Wilton Diptych, Holbein’s Ambassadors, Cézanne’s Bathers, Gallen-Kallela’s Lake Keitele, Antonello da Messina’s Saint Jerome in his Study.



Robert Fraser A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense at Pace London

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In February 2015 Pace hosted an exhibition dedicated to Robert Fraser, famous art dealer and gallerist. In the 1960s and the 1980s, the Robert Fraser Gallery was London’s preeminent gallery showing both European and American emerging artists. Curating of the show was given to an artist Brain Clarke, who was a close friend of Fraser, which enabled to disclose his personality more accurate. There were works that Fraser admired, that he owned, that were once on view at his iconic gallery, passed through his hands or that reflect the cultural background in which the gallery flourished. Not only the juxtaposition of the works was great, but the artworks themselves definitely made it worth a visit. One of the highlights of the exhibition was a portrait of Fraser by Basquiat, whom he represented in the 1980s.



Faux Ami at Simon Lee


During Autumn 2015 London art scene was flourishing with exhibitions, fairs and events, but one of the eye-catching shows was at Simon Lee Gallery. It was a group exhibition that focused on the dialogue between the work of gallery artists and their chosen ‘false friend’. Each artist chose the work which they find forges a relevant, distracting, or misleading relationship with their own practice. Time flew fast while looking at new pairs of artworks by Jeff Elrod / Alexander Calder; Michelangelo Pistoletto / Giuseppe Capogrossi; Josephine Pryde / Rachel Reupke; Hugh Scott-Douglas / Roman Opalka and Jim Shaw / Ramona Fradon.



Wellcome Collection – States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness

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This changing exhibition is a year-long investigation which examines perspectives from artists, psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists to interrogate our understanding of the conscious experience. This first part of States of Mind YellowBluePink explored light and colour as Ann Veronica Janssens invaded the space with coloured mist. With a resemblance to works by James Turell, this room definably had awakened all human senses and perception of the environment. Looking forward to experiencing the upcoming second part of the States of Mind, which will explore our understanding of the conscious experience from different perspectives.


Wellcome Collection explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future in the contemporary and historic exhibitions.



David Altmeid Flux at the Musée d'Art moderne in Paris

Installation view, Maman (1999) by the Moderna Museet's entrance, January, 2015 The Easton Foundation 2015. Photo Åsa Lundén_Moderna Museet.jpg

At ARC the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris last year was possible to see Flux, the first French retrospective of the work of David Altmejd. David Altmejd's approach to sculpture is characterised by its wide variety of materials and a longstanding interest in the natural sciences and architecture. With strong resemblance to David Lynch's movies, the environment of the exhibition was mysterious and tense. After Paris, it toured to Luxembourg and Montreal, and now this exhibition is showing at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art inDenmark until the end of January.



Louise Bourgeois I have been to the hell and back at Moderna Museet in Stockholm

Installation view, Maman (1999) by the Moderna Museet's entrance, January, 2015 The Easton Foundation 2015. Photo Åsa Lundén_Moderna Museet.jpg

In Stockholm in spring 2015 Moderna Museet hosted major retrospective of Louise Bourgeois – I Have Been to Hell and Back. With more than 100 works, it was the largest exhibition in Sweden to date and one-third of the pieces in the exhibition have never before been shown publicly. The art of Louise Bourgeois is complex, radical and full of subversive humour, danger and fear – so was this exhibition as well – emotionally tense, radical and deep.



Frank Stella: Retrospective at the Whitney Museum

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It was a great opportunity to see the artworks of one of the most important living American artist – Frank Stella, whose retrospective was shown at the new building of the Whitney museum. It was designed by famous architect Renzo Piano, who's also was involved in creating a new building for the Garage Museum in Moscow. Opened in May 2015, new exhibition space offers a display of a permanent collection of American modern and contemporary art and a vast programme of shows.



Milan – Prada Foundation

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Co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli the institution has over 20 years history. On the 9th of May, the Fondazione Prada opened its new permanent venue in Milan. The impressive venue is the work of art itself. Constructed by Rem Koolhas, it combines different architectural configurations and complex constructions, giving the possibility to display art in a unique way.