Best Museum Exhibition

for the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there

This philosophical group exhibition, which explored the phenomenon of not knowing with playful stabs at replicating the experience of enigmatic bewilderment (and, at times literally, groping in the dark), may have been the most revelatory art show of the past year. Disparate works by Rachel Harrison, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Marcel Broodthaers, Matt Mullican and the design team Dexter Sinister — among a long, impressive list of others — elegantly illustrated and wrestled with the fundamentally poetic effect of inconclusiveness. One video piece depicted a cat being asked probing questions about the meaning of art, to which it aptly responded, "meow." The Greek and Roman wing of the Met was explored in the dark, with glimpses of antiquities seen by camera flash or flashlight. A print of a Renaissance wunderkammer directed a nod to that hybrid curatorial practice that drew similarities between the seemingly irreconcilable. And a cacophonous room of frenetically produced maps of life itself — its meaning, the soul's trajectory — were sketched in what seemed like a pragmatic order. Thoughtfully curated by Anthony Huberman, the exhibit succeeded in introducing a wide group of up-and-coming contemporary artists and reintroducing canonical figures in fresh contexts.

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