Must SeeMust-See: The Best Art Exhibits of 2013 (Photos)Justin Jones12.23.13Must SeeMust-See: The Best Art Exhibits of 2013 (Photos)From Banksy’s residency in New York and MoMA’s ‘Rain Room’ to David Hockney’s return to California and the Dutch Masters’ visit, a look at the exhibitions that defined the year in art. Justin Jones12.23.13 10:45 AM ETFrom Banksy’s residency in New York and MoMA’s ‘Rain Room’ to David Hockney’s return to California and the Dutch Masters’ visit, a look at the exhibitions that defined the year in art. Stan Honda/AFP/GettyDutch Master Paintings from the MauritshuisDe Young/High/Frick The Dutch Masters exhibition has been touring the world while its permanent home, the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, undergoes renovations. The exhibit includes renowned works from the Dutch Golden Age, including Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, Fabritius’s The Goldfinch, and Rembrandt’s Susanna—among others—some of which have not traveled in decades. It began its U.S. residency on Jan. 6 at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, subsequently traveling to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta before arriving at the Frick Collection in New York, where it will remain until Jan. 19, 2014. Carl Court/AFP/Getty'Schwitters in Britain'Tate Britain, London Schwitters in Britain focused on the paintings, collages, sculptures, performances, and installations created by German artist Kurt Schwitters during the last seven years of his life. The selection of works produced a fantastical story of how he settled in a small valley in Britain upon his escape from Nazi Germany. However, the surprise at this show was not the artist’s work, but a commissioned piece in response to Schwitters by Laure Prouvost and Adam Chodzko. Prouvost and Chodzko “share an interest in how memories and factual narratives about a historical figure can shift and be revised across time and through circumstances.” It was through this commission that Prouvost was recognized for her video installation Wantee, based on her fictitious grandfather. From this, she became this years winner of Britain’s Turner Prize. Mary Altaffer/APNostalgiaNew Museum, New York City A nostalgic look back played inspiration to multiple exhibitions this year, but two of the biggest ones covered the 1980s and 1990s. NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star at the New Museum served as a time capsule of art made and exhibited in New York over the course of one year, 1993. Similarly, Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery focused on the “other D.C.”—a place where drugs and corruption produced a new visual culture for the nation’s capital… a place that it is not necessarily known for its production of art. Bebeto Matthews/AP'Rain Room'MoMA, New York City Oh, Rain Room … how EVERYONE. WANTED. TO SEE YOU. Daily, thousands of visitors lined up to see this exhibition for the opportunity to tread through a rainfall without getting wet. A constant downpour came from the ceilings, but paused the moment it detected a human body underneath—allowing the experience of controlling the rain. While this may not seem like the most exciting thing to happen to MoMA, it still created queues with more than six-hour wait times. And people continued to line up. Stefanie Keenan/WireImageJames Turrell RetrospectiveGuggenheim, New York City/Museum of Fine Arts Houston/LACMA Turrell isn’t known for small-scale productions—he is transforming an extinct volcano crater in Arizona into a playground of perception manipulation—so it makes sense that this year’s retrospective was one of the largest ever constructed, spanning three museums. Instead of a traveling exhibition, the three museums (LACMA, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Guggenheim) decided to open three separate shows simultaneously giving visitors of each something different and unique. For the Guggenheim show, Turrell transformed the central rotunda into a site-specific meditative cone of lights. Park Avenue Armory/FacebookPaul McCarthy's 'WS'Park Avenue Armory, New York City Who knew a Disney theme could be so subversive? WS by Paul McCarthy took Snow White for a spin in this film and sculpture installation that filled the entire drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory in New York. A seven-hour film shot within the constructed house and forest that filled the center of the room played on large screens while visitors peered into the set where remnants of “White Snow (WS)” and her fellow dwarves’ previous night of debauchery took place. WS is just the beginning of a series, so we are already looking forward to seeing which Disney character McCarthy plans to taint next. YouTube'She Who Tells a Story'Museum of Fine Arts, Boston She Who Tells a Story set out to challenge the perceptions of Middle Eastern identity through the work of 12 women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. It is the first exhibition of its kind in the United States and provides a wide spectrum of themes, from veiling and female identity to day-to-day lives amid war. If you haven’t witnessed these powerful works and voices, make sure to get to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, before Jan. 12, 2014 Pierre et Gilles/Pintrest'Masculine/Masculine'Musée d’Orsay, Paris The female nude has always been a prevalent theme throughout the history of art and highly visible in major museums. She reclines and bathes and seduces. But so do the males. Thankfully, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris gave us a complete retrospective of the male nude in art… just to catch us up on everything we have been missing out on. Masculine/Masculine drew from the Musée d’Orsay’s extensive personal collection as well as other French public collections to explore the aspects and meanings of the male nude in art. It stays on view until Jan. 12, 2014. Justin JonesMike Kelley RetrospectivePS1, Queens, NY Mike Kelley’s retrospective at MoMA’s PS1 might have been the most buzzed about exhibition of the year. And it didn’t disappoint. There wasn’t a medium that Kelley didn’t touch. He produced paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, sound art, and performance—all of which are represented in the 40,000-square-foot space. His works where playful at times, perverse at others, but always dealt with the human psyche, specifically childhood and repressed memories. The Mike Kelley retrospective is on view at PS1 in Queens until Feb. 2, 2014. Eduardo Munoz/ReutersBanksyNew York City Banksy outdid himself in October. While he is known as the super-elusive graffiti artist that plasters walls around the world with his satirical street art, he decided to take over the entire city of New York—creating a new work of art every day for the entire month. There were sculptures, graffiti, mobile installations, and—as an added bonus—he sold some original works in Central Park for $60 each. Too bad no one realized it was Banksy… only four people made a purchase. Lee Boltin/Time & Life Pictures/Getty,Lee Boltin'The Armory Show at 100'NY Historical Society, New York City The 1913 Armory Show was one of the most influential exhibitions the U.S. had ever seen. It was the first large exhibition of modern art in America and introduced the European avant-garde, such as Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, and Gauguin, to the American public, inspiring a new artistic language in the U.S. One hundred years later, the New York Historical Society exhibited approximately 100 masterworks from the very show to explore how one single exhibition had such an effect on American culture, politics, and society. The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution is on display until Feb. 23, 2014. Leslie Kulesh/National Selfie Portrait Gallery'National #Selfie Portrait Gallery'National Portrait Gallery, London “Selfies” had quite the year. Not only was it named the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year, but it also received its own art exhibition. Debuting at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the video installation, National #Selfie Portrait Gallery, featured 30-second-long videos by 19 artists. Looking back at famous self-portraits, the exhibition provided insight into the concept of the “selfie” and how it has come to permeate our culture. Matt Rourke/APLégerPhiladelphia Museum of art The Frenand Léger show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was another blockbuster exhibition. It focuses on Léger’s return to Paris after World War I and his role of redefining the practice of painting. His inspiration for these works was drawn from the spawning postwar urban environment and modern mass media. Film, architecture models, and advertising designs are showcased along with the artist’s monumental paintings. While Léger headlines the show, other well-known artists, such as Piet Mondrian, Man Ray, and Le Corbusier, are also displayed to complete the story. Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis ends Jan. 5, 2014. Brooklyn MuseumWangechi MutuBrooklyn Museum of Art The Brooklyn Museum of Art welcomed Wangechi Mutu’s first survey in the United States to their Feminist Art wing. The Kenya-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s large-scale collages are not to be missed. Using the female body as the centerpiece, Mutu mixes plant and animal-like elements to create truly unique abstract works that are part human, animal, plant, and machine. Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey is on display until March 9, 2014. Eric Risberg/APDavid Hockneyde Young Museum, San Francisco One of Britain’s best-known living artists returned to California for an exhibition assembled specifically for the de Young Museum in San Francisco. This monumental survey showcased an array of recent works, including new works that had never been seen—some that were even created on an iPad. David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition is on display until Jan. 20, 2014. Carsten AniksdalPerforma: NYCBeginning in 2005, this biennial of performance art in New York City continues to showcase some of the best work coming from contemporary minds. This year, for Performa 13, more than 100 separate events were presented at over 40 venues around the Big Apple during the month of November. While each piece received praise, the Malcolm McLaren Award, established at the 2011 iteration, went to Ryan McNamara for his commissioned piece, ME3M: A Story Ballet About the Internet. The work captured the online experience through dance and performance. Spectators were wheeled around the Connelly Theater in the East Village, where various dancers, ranging from modern ballet to club dancing, performed in separate spaces—on stage, in back rooms, hallways, and stairwells. A truly unique experience. Mike Segar/ReutersYayoi KusamaDavid Zwirner, New York City This gallery exhibition turned out to be quite a surprise and the last-minute “must-see” of the year. While the entire exhibition, I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, focused on an entire new body of works contemplating life and death, the main attraction was one of her infamous “infinity rooms.” The immersive installation, titled Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of a Millions of Light Years Away, boasted hundreds of pulsing LED lights within a dark, mirrored room—much like her Fireflies on the Water installation at the Whitney Museum last year. Once the first visitors posted photos on social media, lines that commanded up to a three-hour wait began to form outside.