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Ja:goh Marie Watt for making Hyperallergic’s “Best of 2021: Our Top 10 New York City Art Shows”

December 7, 2021 |

The city brought shows to life that will be talked about for years to come. These are the shows that Hyperallergic’s critics, both staff and contributors thought were the most compelling of the year. Though it was a year of tentative venturing back out into the open to look at artwork in person, the production wasn’t tentative at all. The city brought shows to life that will be talked about for years to come. —Seph Rodney, Senior Critic

Coming in at the 5th spot: Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

November 22, 2019–February 2022 – Curated by Jennie Goldstein, Elisabeth Sherman, and Ambika Trasi

Craft may have been historically relegated to its own domain, but it was also a frontier for artists to break free from the hierarchy of painting and sculpture. Alternative media such as weaving, ceramics, beading, or embroidery also often addressed issues of gender and race. In a completely riveting exhibition, Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 presents material experimentation that stretched from Ruth Asawa’s elegant hanging wire sculptures to Mike Kelly’s crazy quilt of stuffed toys and old afghans. The show successfully outlines a thrilling alternative trajectory paved mostly by women who fought the inequities of the art world with needles, thread, and glue guns in hand. —Debra Brehmer

View the entire list here:

Photo: Installation view of Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019; foreground, Marie Watt, “Skywalker/Skyscraper (Axis Mundi),” (2012); background, Liza Lou’s “Kitchen,” (1991-1996) (image by Debra Brehmer)