The Defining Exhibitions of 2022

the Editors of Artnews

This year, after a series of delays, many of the most anticipated exhibitions of the past few years, coincided, resulting in a bounty of art to see. Prime among them were recurring shows, like the Venice Biennale in Italy and Documenta 15 in Kassel, Germany, which lured hundreds of thousands of visitors with the promise of cutting-edge art.

But, alongside those art festivals, which tended to hog the spotlight, a number of surveys and retrospectives continued to push at the limits of the canon and introduce new figures, all the while complicating the study of artists who are well-known. Many of these shows are still traveling and will continue to reshape art history as they venture to new venues.

Below, a look at the 25 exhibitions that defined 2022.


"Faith Ringgold: American People" at the New Museum, New York

Faith Ringgold’s influence is so vast that it would have been easy to forget she had never had a retrospective in New York, the city she has long called home. And so it felt truly remarkable to stand within the New Museum this past winter and see five decades’ worth of art-making that vividly speaks to the experiences of Black women, the pervasiveness of racist violence, and the value of direct action. Well-known works by Ringgold—like a vast painting depicting the carnage resulting from a clash between Black and white people, which had been prominently featured at MoMA recently—were on view in this show, curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari, with Madeline Weisburg. What stood out, however, were the less often seen parts of Ringgold’s oeuvre, like her “Slave Rape” series of the ’70s, in which she offers provocative images of Black women who resist any attempts to be ground down by those who seek to exploit them. —Alex Greenberger


Top Art Exhibitions of 2022

Dec 21, 2022