1. Luca Giordano: 1634-1705, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Tales of imprisonment, rebellion, war, love, abduction, seduction, rape and torture told in baroque torrents of color and flesh. This is painting!
2. The World From Here: Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles, UCLA Hammer Museum. The first books ever printed on masturbation, tennis, television and Mexican cooking all in the same room. Not to mention Shakespeares First Folio, the oldest book printed in the New World, Oscar Wildes first play (inscribed to Walt Whitman), and Anaïs Nins original diaries. Who knew L.A. even had libraries?
3. Walker Evans and Company: Works From the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Center. A smart, challenging show filled beyond capacity with great work.
4. Sister Wendys American Collection, PBS. Sister Wendy is brilliant and completely underrated; no other public figure deals so squarely with that unfashionable question of what art is actually supposed to mean.
5. To Protect and Serve: The LAPD Archives 100 Years of Photography, Fototeka. Cops and robbers, love and death, blood and guts a Hollywood-caliber, museum-quality show stuffed into one cozy little room in Echo Park.
6. Megan McManus, Post. Nearly perfect painting saturated with real feeling such a rare combination.
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7. Salomón Huerta, Patricia Faure Gallery. Another show with heart: simple, spare, quiet drawings that somehow manage to convey everything wonderful and terrible about love.
8. Miranda Lichtenstein, Goldman Tevis. Smart, gorgeous photographs in which the artist successfully manipulates the most extroverted of media into exploring the innermost regions of an imaginary world.
9. Nancy Jackson, Rosamund Felsen Gallery. Earnestly fanciful work that draws girlish impulses out to noble extremes. I want to live inside one of her delicious little sculptures.
10. Alfredo Garcia Revuelta, Iturralde Gallery. Something about this show which deals in birth, death, body, home, food made nearly everything I saw for months after seem disingenuous.