The Best Art Shows of 2010

From David Hockney’s iPad drawings of freshly cut flowers to Szabolcs Veres’ nightmarish canvases of grotesque characters, 2010 saw established and emerging artists utilizing new technologies and ancient means to express their inner realms and comment on the ever-changing world around them. Takashi Murakami transformed the Château of Versailles into a manga-inspired fantasyland; Ryan McGinley shot thousands of pictures of youthful nudes on seamless paper; and Edward Burtynsky documented the BP oil spill from an aerial point of view to reveal both the horror and beauty of manmade disasters. After the jump, click through to learn more about these exhibitions, as well as shows by Catherine Opie, Erik Parker, Pieter Hugo, and others that complete our top ten art picks of the year.

Murakami at Château de Versailles

Takashi Murakami, Flower Matango, 2001-2006. Fiberglass, iron, oil paint and acrylic, 315 x 204.7 x 263 cm / 10.33 x 6.7 x 8.63 feet ©2001-2006 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Photo: Cedric Delsaux – The Hall of Mirrors/Château de Versailles

Following on the heels of celebrated exhibitions by Jeff Koons and Xavier Veilhan, Japanese Pop artist Takashi Murakami took the Château of Versailles by storm with a show of manga-inspired sculptures earlier this year. Grandiose in scope and scale and seductive in the masterful use of materials, Murakami’s comical cast of characters was perfectly matched with the rooms and gardens of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette’s ornate palace.