Best visual arts of 2015: Five top shows and one turkey from Anthony Caro to Jeff Koons

Highlights of the year, plus one that didn't live up to the hype

Karen Wright
Tuesday 15 December 2015 18:13
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Anthony Caro's 'Double Tent'
Anthony Caro's 'Double Tent'

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern, London

This exhibition validated Dumas' status of being the most expensive living woman artist. Her use of paint and often provocative subject matter was sensitive, seductive and moving.

Caro in Yorkshire, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Hepworth Wakefield

This collaborative exhibition spread over two venues summed up a lifetime's achievement by this titan of sculpture. Beautifully installed, Anthony Caro's continuing exploration of materials and use of joyous colour until shortly before his death was humbling.

Jimmie Durham: Various Items and Complaints, Serpentine Gallery, London

Jimmie Durham is an artist's artist. His inspiring and humorous exhibition showed younger artists how to make work out of humble materials – including himself. No video work of the year was more affecting than the small monitors that sat amid his witty sculpture.

Susan Hiller, Lisson Gallery, London

Almost a mini retrospective, this is beautifully selected and curated, highlighting the achievements of an influential artist who excels in all media: video, sound, installation, photography and painting. Not content with repeating her signature works Hiller constantly reinvents her practice.

Runs to 9 January 2016

Goya: The Portraits, National Gallery, London

A compelling exhibition, its tender works of friends and family set beside the almost comic misfiring of some of his commissioned work.

Runs to 10 January, 2016

Turkey of the Year

Jeff Koons, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Unsurprisingly, this goes to the American artist Jeff Koons. The chronologically arranged exhibition exposed the weaknesses in his continual search for banality. His obsession with fabrication results in shiny, empty baubles for rich collectors to impress their friends with.

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