Among the county’s art museums, none had a better year than the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
The year opened with the last few days of “Los Vecinos (The Neighbors),” an ambitious and auspicious showing of art about the border region. And the year ended with one of the institution’s most impressive exhibitions to date: “The Duane Michals Show,” a retrospective of one of this country’s more off-beat, introspective and provocatively narrative contemporary photographers.
In between, the museum displayed its usual range of shows, covering the journalistic side of photography in “Eyes of Time: Photojournalism Is America” and the romantic side of art photography in “Desert Winds/Paris Rain: Photographs by Bernard Plossu.” And a touch of both social commentary and Surrealism came into play with “Revoluciones: The Art of Manuel Alvarez Bravo,” a wonderful show of Mexico’s greatest photographer.
Only one show stood out as a major lapse: an exhibition of a minor and very undistinguished artist, James Casebere, was an unfortunate dip that marred an otherwise good record.
Let’s hope the trend continues.