‘Old-fashioned awesome’ – readers pick their favourite art of the 21st century | Culture


‘A very accessible broad look at how art affects us’: DietBoke

My favourite art project was the Banksy one-month “residency” in New York. I only saw this through Chris Moukarbel’s documentary and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. It was so much about the way people reacted to the art that was so fascinating: the guys who disassembled the brick sphinx and rebuilt it in their garage to sell on; the Banksy originals being sold in the market at the side of Central Park for a few dollars; and the locals charging money for photographs of the Banksy picture in their neighbourhood. It was a very accessible, broad look at how art affects us. I really enjoyed it.

Yayoi Kusama: Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009)

‘An indelible stamp’: SimonLegend

It qualifies as an indelible stamp upon a world that unfolds continually into a not so distant, but nonetheless certain, oblivion.

‘I was completely overwhelmed’: Lewis, 28, Bristol

The Coral Reef was one of the most affecting pieces of art I’ve experienced. I found it completely by accident through a door I felt didn’t belong there. From that point I was completely overwhelmed, passing through a series of rooms that were nondescript but oppressive. It was so disorienting that I couldn’t find the way out, and for the most part I was completely alone so couldn’t ask for help. The Coral Reef is a series of offices, waiting rooms and corridors that are grubby and used but feel unspecific and indistinct. For me it represents the mundane spaces that we inhabit every day; the off-licence, the open-plan office, the hotel corridor. They exist out of context with the place they’re in and result in an uncanny feeling of loss of control. It was unsettling and bizarre. I’ve never seen anything like it.

‘It’s the most beautiful art object I’ve experienced in my life.’ A still from Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors, 2012, which was our No 1.



‘It’s the most beautiful art object I’ve experienced in my life.’ A still from Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors, 2012, which was our No 1. Photograph: Elisabet Davidsdottir

‘Awesome’: BenCaute

So glad I got to see The Weather Project when it opened. It was, in the old-fashioned sense of the word, awesome. What the little spiel doesn’t mention is the use of mist and vapour to soften the air – you can see the general effect in the picture.

Flop Lefebvre: Heureuses Lueurs (2005)

‘Best art exhibition I’ve seen for a long time’: Alarming

This is the best art exhibition I’ve seen for a long time. Lefebvre uses light projection, bits of wire, small mirrors, book illustrations, coloured gels, small motors and mundane objects, which are projected through lenses on to a wall in a darkened room. The contrast between the beautiful projected image of his coffee pot bubbling away on a flame and the way he has created it is wonderful.

It’s like you’re looking at a coffee pot for the first time – a bit like when painters in the middle ages first started using modelling, realistic light and shadow and naturalistic landscape. He doesn’t work on the art gallery circuit (you’ll find him in puppet/animation festivals, theatres or with a French performance company Groupe ZUR), he hasn’t, as far as I know, worked in the UK so his work bypasses the critics.

Roni Horn – Pink Tons (2009)

‘Absolutely mesmerising’: Crawford_Montazano

Looks like a big chunk of Turkish Delight, but is in fact 4.5 tons of solid cast glass. It’s absolutely mesmerising.

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors (2012)

‘The most beautiful art object I’ve experienced’: fromtherooftops

Agree with Kjartansson’s The Visitors as No 1. It was shown here in Cardiff at the Artes Mundi festival a few years ago, in the tiny Turner Gallery in Penarth. I went back five times, various friends in tow, to try to drink in all the screens (it was set up 360 degrees, so you couldn’t see it all at once). As it was shown on a continuous loop of 64 minutes, it slipped further out of kilter as the day wore on. We’d listen downstairs for the aural signals of when to enter the “cycle”, so we’d catch the end of one and then get through a full one. It’s the most beautiful art object I’ve experienced in my life.



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