David Hammons (Ace Gallery; 2002) Viewers explored a pitch-black gallery with tiny blue lights. Still the best manifestation of life in the bad days after 9/11.
Matthew Barney, The Cremaster Cycle (Guggenheim Museum, 2002) Colossal and mythic, it caught our psychic dance with chaos, while also soaring above it.
Pipilotti Rist (MoMA; 2008) The optical shaman’s atrium installation turned a museum of stone into its metaphysical doppelgänger: A supple, voluptuous dream machine.
Carroll Dunham (Gladstone Gallery; 2007) Containing a stark and perfect encapsulation of the failed state of the world: A freak blowing his brains out by sticking a gun in his ass.
Who’s Afraid of Jasper Johns? (Tony Shafrazi Gallery; 2008). A mad group show that embodied a moment when organizational order and visual hierarchy were in liberating flux.
Cindy Sherman (Metro Pictures Gallery; 2008) Fearless, magisterial oversize color photos of Sherman aging showed that following one idea as far as it can go can be timeless.