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Best of Boston 2011: Art and theater edition

Posted by Alex Pearlman  December 28, 2011 09:30 AM

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mfa linde wing art.jpgBy Christi Kim

From within the small galleries of the South End, the nationally recognized Museum of Fine Arts, and the theaters that dot the city -- among others -- Boston produces and showcases some of the finest art in the world.

The city is home to a wide variety of art venues, but these are my picks for the best places and pieces of 2011.

Best Museum: Museum of Fine Arts’ New Contemporary Wing. The addition of the new Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art in September was one of the best things to happen to the Museum of Fine Arts this year. Seven new galleries displaying contemporary art and design take us out of the past and update us on the art of today. The neon-blue text of “All Art Has Been Contemporary” displayed in the wing makes you think that, yes, all art, at one time or another, was modern; it perfectly represents the MFA’s intent of transitioning visitors to understand and enjoy contemporary art in the context of both past and present works. If you have time this week, definitely go see Christian Marley’s “The Clock;” the MFA’s showing coincidentally ends on the last day of 2011, and visiting this exhibit is an appropriate way to welcome the new year.

Best Theater Production: American Repertory Theater’s Prometheus Bound. This Cambridge-based professional not-for-profit theater was founded only 30 years ago, but it’s already been awarded many of the nation’s top honors, including a Pulitzer Prize. Prometheus Bound is an odd combination of Greek tragedy set to rock music that (somehow) works. Other current and upcoming A.R.T. shows include Snow Queen, which runs until Dec. 31; Three Pianos, which runs until Jan. 8, 2012; and As You Like It, which runs Jan. 18-29.

cash for your warhol.jpgArt Gallery: Gallery Kayafas’ Geoff Hargadon exhibit. Boston Phoenix readers deemed Gallery Kayafas the best art gallery of the year, and I have to agree. The gallery focuses on photography, like the dynamic works of Dr. Harold Edgerton, but there are a variety of other pieces featured as well, including a current exhibit of Hargadon’s work. His stuff isn’t necessarily the most visually appealing, but it’s notable for its wit -- for example, signs that read “Cash for your Warhol,” in reference to the famous artist’s pieces that were set to be sold from Brandeis’ Rose Art Museum (the controversial plans were later cancelled).

What was your favorite gallery opening, exhibit, or theater production of 2011? Check out more of our year-end "Best of Boston 2011" coverage here.

Photos by Adam Moskowitz (top) and Nick J Webb (bottom, via Flickr)

About Christi -- I'm a student and copy editor in Boston. I have an interest in pretty much everything. I like to spend my free time as part photographer, writer, graphic designer, foodie, artist, and musician. I enjoy reading in a quiet sunlit room and watching movies with friends.

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