By Catherine Fox
“The Treasure of Ulysses Davis: Sculpture from a Savannah Barbershop.” High Museum of Art. This legacy-changing retrospective revealed that the self-taught artist was considerably more complex and sophisticated than he has been given credit for.
“Henry Moore in America.” Atlanta Botanical Garden. The largest exhibit ever mounted in the U.S. by a master of 20th-century sculpture demonstrated that the garden is a wonderful outdoor gallery and cemented its reputation as a venue for important art.
“Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture.” Museum of Design Atlanta and the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library. A fascinating exhibit that analyzed and measured Breuer’s achievements and gave his Atlanta landmark, the Central Library, an illuminating historical and aesthetic context.
“Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius.” High Museum of Art. The latest of the High’s excellent series of exhibits about the Italian Renaissance revealed the master’s development and creative process as well as his sculptural thinking. Debuting a new find — two relief sculptures that just might be by his hand — was a coup.
“Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities.” Spelman College Museum of Art. This provocative exhibit introduced unfamiliar artists we need to know, particularly a formidable group of African artists, and presented familiar ones in new contexts.
“Le Flash.” Castleberry Hill. The event of the year took art of all kinds into the streets and brought people of all kinds to enjoy it. Its artistic energy and community spirit showed us what Atlanta could be.
“More Mergers & Acquisitions.” The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Smart, witty and a visual pleasure, the show reverberates with ideas. Let’s hope this concept, in its second iteration, becomes a tradition.
“Brian Dettmer: A Flood of Pictures.” Saltworks. The Atlanta artist transforms books into complex, meticulously realized sculptures. Though printed matter appears to be the next species of Internet road kill, he gives it new life and affirms the ageless allure of the object.
“Divine Chaos.” Emory Visual Arts Gallery. Atlanta artist Diane Kempler’s fascination with India found expression in a compelling mix of ceramic sculptures, photography and floor drawings.
“Chi Peng: Journey to the West.” Kiang Gallery. A young Chinese artist brought ancient myths into the present with wondrous, sometimes mischievous, photos that commented on life in the 21st century