From Gaultier’s punk-chic fashions to Donald Judd’s minimalist Stacks to Al Hirschfeld’s essence-capturing cartoons, the art exhibits mounted this year were some of the best ever. In some quarters, it was a year for artists to share their visions of a zany, bio-hacked future: the shows And Nowhere A Shadow and Grow Your Own explored how synthetic biology will soon allow us to design from the DNA up, whether it’s blueberry plants containing rabies vaccines or cheese made from the bacteria of a human toe. The art world in 2014 will no doubt continue to embrace cutting-edge technology in art, from 3D-printing to digital weaving.
Other major exhibitions this year looked to the past, remembering late artists and designers like Mike Kelley and Isabella Blow, whose careers were both tragically cut short. We also saw a number of firsts in the art world: MoMA presented its first show devoted exclusively to sound art, the Kelley exhibit was the first to fill up all three floors of MoMA’s PS1 building, and up-and-coming Argentine artist Adrian Villar Rojas had his first major show. Above, 10 of our favorite art exhibitions of 2013.