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The 15 best art shows of 2015

Delaunay surprised, Diebenkorn delighted and Goya scored twice: here's our pick of the shows of the year

12
Ryoji Ikeda: Supersymmetry
Jana Chiellino
1/12

Ryoji Ikeda: Supersymmetry

We willingly scratched our heads and had a ‘what’s it all about?’ moment, pondering the immensity of the universe and other big subjects in this hallucinatory installation at the Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in April – even if it left us blissfully in the dark.

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11
Modigliani: A Unique Artistic Voice
2/12

Modigliani: A Unique Artistic Voice

This show of luminous small works at the Estorick Collection in April confirmed the boho’s ‘genius’ tag.

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10
Bruce Conner: Crossroads
Bruce Conner, 'Crossroads', 1976. © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco
3/12

Bruce Conner: Crossroads

This show at Thomas Dane in June treated us to one of the most beautiful, most mesmerising films you’re ever likely to see – not to mention one of the most terrifying.

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9
Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album
4/12

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album

Not many pointy hats, but this ace show of drawings at the Courtauld Gallery in April was packed with monstrous humanity.

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8
 Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors
Still from 'The Visitors'. Courtesy Ragnar Kjartansson. Photo: Elisabet Davids
5/12

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

Any show titled after Abba’s majestic final album is okay with us – and thankfully this Icelandic artist’s multiscreen installation at the Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park in November was a fittingly emotional ode to love and loss.

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7
Ai Weiwei
David Parry
6/12

Ai Weiwei

The Chinese megastar’s first major UK survey – at the Royal Academy of Arts, September to December – was epic and serious – and rather samey. But even its repetitiveness started to feel purposeful and critical – evidence of an unyielding spirit in the face of an unrelenting regime.

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6
Inventing Impressionism
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
7/12

Inventing Impressionism

This show about how Monet, Renoir and co (at the National Gallery, March to May) became the biggest deals in art wasn't just about the money. Its masterpiece quota was spectacularly high.

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5
Leon Golub: Bite Your Tongue
© READS 2015
8/12

Leon Golub: Bite Your Tongue

This long overdue survey at the Serpentine Galleries (March to May) showed the late American painter at his irate best.

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4
History is Now
Linda Nylind
9/12

History is Now

Mad cows, a missile, David Beckham asleep, Gilbert & George getting pissed… this was one nation under a roof (at the Hayward Gallery February to April) and it was a brilliantly disconcerting experience.

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3
The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay
10/12

The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay

This retrospective of paintings, textiles and designs by the visionary modernist (at Tate Modern, April to August) was a real dazzler.

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2
Richard Diebenkorn
Richard Diebenkorn, 'Berkeley #5', 1953. © 2014 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
11/12

Richard Diebenkorn

Who said Monet, Renoir and co had the whole ‘sunshine on canvas’ thing sewn up? We couldn't get enough of the warm Californian breeze of this undersung American’s paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts (March to June).

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1
Ravilious
Eric Ravillious, 'Train Landscape', 1940. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collection
12/12

Ravilious

A quiet man of British modernism, Eric Ravilious may have looked like a participant of the Tweed Run, but he was also a radiant watercolourist and brilliant war artist. At Dulwich Picture Gallery (April to August).

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2016, you have a lot to live up to…

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By: Time Out London Art

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