The Best of 2014 in 'Best of 2014' Art Exhibition Lists?

December 29, 2014 11:16 PM

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This was originally going to be a list of the best art exhibitions of 2014. Then I realized that I don't know what "best" means. What criteria should be used to appraise merit? With or without criteria, such a list would be purely subjective: it wouldn't be about the best art exhibitions of 2014; it would be a mere reflection of my favorite exhibitions among those that I happened to have seen in 2014. The twofold contingencies of my taste and what exhibitions I saw this year add up to complete arbitrariness with regard to real quality; especially as the selection of shows I attended was already contingent upon my geographic location, time, and, of course, the sensibilities that drew me to those shows in the first place.

Suddenly, I realized how imperfect an arbiter I would be. I simply couldn't write such a list with a clear conscience--what if I missed an important exhibition, or extolled a show that more important people had agreed upon as bad?

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