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Sebastian Smee's picks

December 28, 2008
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Best contemporary: "Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future" and "Tara Donovan," both at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Best old master: "El Greco to Velazquez: Art During the Reign of Philip III," Museum of Fine Arts

Best modern: "Mystic Masque: Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958," McMullen Museum of Art

Best design/decorative arts: "Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry," MFA

Best ancient: "Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum," MFA

Best themed show: "Wedded Bliss: The Marriage of Art and Ceremony," Peabody Essex Museum, and "Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape," Mass MoCA

Best video/film: "Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space," MIT List Visual Arts Center

Biggest disappointment: "The 2008 James and Audrey Foster Prize," ICA

Best political timing: "Andy Warhol: Pop Politics," Currier Museum of Art

Best show of the year: "Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective," Mass MoCA

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