January 25th 2012

Whitney Biennial begins March 1st

The Whitney Museum of American Art has recently announced the list of artists that will be participating in the upcoming 2012 Whitney Biennial.

The Biennial takes place at the museum from March 1st, 2012, through to May 27th, 2012, though some programs continue until June 10th.

This marks the seventy-sixth of an ongoing series of Biennials and Annuals presented by the Whitney Museum since 1932, two years after the Museum was founded.

The Whitney Biennial is an exhibition that is held every two years, when the Museum analyzes the current state and events in contemporary art in America.

Since the exhibition was introduced in 1932, the Whitney Biennial, which is the Museum’s signature exhibition and an extremely highly anticipated event in the art world, has carefully charted new developments and growth found in contemporary art.

It was inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, and these biennial exhibitions have demonstrated the museum’s ongoing commitment to supporting the development of 20th- and 21st-century American art.

This year, the Biennial is curated by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator, and Sondra Gilman, Curator of Photography at the Whitney, and Jay Sanders, a freelance curator.

The trio began to work on the planning and research for the show early in December of last year. After a lot of long hours, they narrowed it down to fifty-one artists.

The Biennial is a collaboration of many media of work, including sculpture, painting, photography, and installations, both from established artists and those who are just emerging. There are also filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, and playwrights added to the roster, most of which will be presented in a large, open area in the galleries on the museum’s fourth floor.

The film program for the Biennial will be led by co-founders of the Light Industry, Ed Halter and Thomas Beard. Light Industry is a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn. (You can read more about them at their website, lightindustry.org)

The 2012 Biennial will also be presenting two additional special curatorial collaborations with external arts organizations.

One includes Arika, a UK-based group that organizes many festivals of experimental music, along with moving image and sound. This will mark their first North American program as part of the 2012 Biennial. Their presence will include a week of performances, workshops, and conversations on topics in North American listening, including contemporary poetry, noise, and music.

Another includes Artists Space Books and Talks in Tribeca. Curated by Artists Space, this will focus on key concerns from the work of the exhibiting artists, as well as from the Biennial as a whole.

A full list of the Biennial Artists includes:

Kai Althoff
Thom Andersen
Charles Atlas
Lutz Bacher
Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
Michael Clark
Cameron Crawford
Moyra Davey
Liz Deschenes
Nathaniel Dorsky
Nicole Eisenman
Kevin Jerome
Vincent Fecteau
Andrea Fraser
LaToya Ruby
Vincent Gallo
K8 Hardy
Richard Hawkins
Werner Herzog
Jerome Hiler
Matt Hoyt
Dawn Kasper
Mike Kelley
John Kelsey
John Knight
Jutta Koether
George Kuchar
Laida Lertxundi
Kate Levant
Sam Lewitt
Joanna Malinowska
Andrew Masullo
Nick Mauss
Richard Maxwell
Sarah Michelson
Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran
Laura Poitras
Matt Porterfield
Luther Price
Lucy Raven
The Red Krayola
Kelly Reichardt
Elaine Reichek
Michael Robinson
Georgia Sagri
Michael E. Smith
Tom Thayer
Wu Tsang
Oscar Tuazon
Gisèle Vienne, Dennis Cooper, Stephen O’Malley, and Peter Rehberg
Frederick Wiseman

In addition to the to the event, visitors (or those who can’t make it) can pre-order the comprehensive catalog.

The 2012 Biennial features works by fifty-one artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, dance, and performance. In the catalog, Elisabeth Sussman (who co-organized the influential, politically provocative 1993 Whitney Biennial) and Jay Sanders provide an insightful joint essay. This is alongside various art historians and myriad critics who add to and contribute entries on common themes and ideas from the different artists’ techniques and influences.

In addition to having a great purchase added to your library, a significant portion of the catalogue is devoted to original contributions from each of the participating artists. This effort will help to provide a more experiential understanding of the exhibition.

The paperback catalog is 352 pages, with 300 vibrant illustrations, and 100 additional black and white illustrations.  It’s for sale on pre-order now at the Whitney Museum’s store for just $36 for members. You can get it here: shopwhitney.org/whbi20.html.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.