[Best of 2015] Art Spaces of the Year

A tale of two, or three, or four (and sometimes five) cities.

by TCP Staff
Dec 29 2015, 3:15pm

Rendering A. of "Art in City,” Moreau Kusunoki Architects new Guggenheim Museum, to be built in Finland. Image courtesy Moreau Kusunoki Architectes, via

Ah, the art space—without its walls, everything would just be a sculpture. This year saw tremendous growth in places old and new, institutional and artist-run, from The Whitney's super-sleek move to Meatpacking, to "black lighthouse" Guggenheim projects in Finland. As The Broad opened up in LA, and the Garage Museum in Moscow, the Living Room and Cameo Gallery closed their doors in Brooklyn. Standing in the face of ISIS' piling up ruins were new museums dedicated to the fundamentals, like Hunter S. Thompson, and shit

Truly, it was the best of times and the worst of times; history-making moments for the places in which history itself sits. Here are our picks for the best art spaces of the year 2015: 

L to R: Black Boy Pissin in White Man's Mouth, Henry Taylor; Diamonds, Noah Davis; Moon, Noah Davis; Dirty South, Deana Lawson; Bishops, Noah Davis. Image courtesy BHQFUG

+ The Bruce High Quality Foundation University Gallery (BHQFUG) opened (and closed) its doors in Manhattan's East Village, showcasing exhibitions from Guerrilla Girls Broadband, Betty Tompkins, Noah Davis and the Underground Museum, and more. 

+ The greater Brooklyn community banded together in support of Bushwick's Silent Barn, after a fire broke out on the third floor of the communal artspace. 

Anna Rosen, “Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’ ”, 2015, oil and found woodcut on found tablecloth. Night Gallery 

+ NADA, undoubtedly one of the best satellite fairs to Art Basel Miami Beach, revitalized itself this year by switching it's longtime Deauville Beach Resort location to the Fontainebleau. Read more about NADA Executive Director Heather Hubbs' methods for keeping the fair feeling new here

+ PULSE Miami Beach art fair brought young artists and new ideas, including Faith Holland and Kate Durbin, SVA Galleries, and Visual AIDS to two massive temporary pavillions on Collins Ave. 

Olivia Steele, Photo by BFA/Paul Porter

+ A new, "Bushwick-style" gallery opened up inside the lower level of the Williamsburg Savings Bank, bringing street artists and contemporary sculptors together for an opening you could just as well experience with a spectrometer.  

+ A "former piano factory" became the site of perhaps the year's tackiest example of big money real estate developers rubbing elbows with art's A-list, Lucien Smith's "Macabre Suite" Halloween art party megaflop in the Bronx. 

The Broad_photo by Elizabeth Daniels_262DSR.jpg

Installation of Robert Therrien's “Under the Table,” 1994 in The Broad's third-floor galleries; photo by Elizabeth Daniels, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler unveiled LA's newest, The Broad art museum, bringing with it works by Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Roy Lichtenstein, and so. many. more

+ Zaha Hadid built a museum for climber Reinhold Messner's achievements into the peak of a mountain in the Alps. Obviously, photos, which you can see on Dezeen, are breathtaking. 

+ Russia's Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, opened its first permanent location inside the former Vremena Goda restaurant. Redesigned by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA studio, and unveiled on June 12, the museum is one small step for founder Dasha Zhukova, one giant step for contemporary art in Russia. 

+ And finally, just today seven finalists were announced to be in the running for the Obama Presidential Library commission in Chicago. Contenders include David Adjaye, Renzo Piano, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Snøhetta, promising that no matter who wins, our nation's 44th president's name will be up on some spiffy new digs. 

What were your favorites? What'd we miss? Let us know in the comments below. 


[Best of 2015] The Year in Projection Mapping

[Best of 2015] The Year in Photography

[Best of 2015] The Year in Sculpture

silent barn
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Lucien Smith
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Broad museum
Rumney Guggenheim
Art Basel Miami Beach
Macabre Suite
Obama Presidential Library
PULSE Miami Beach