Magazine article Artforum International

"Looking Back: The 10th White Columns Annual": White Columns

Magazine article Artforum International

"Looking Back: The 10th White Columns Annual": White Columns

Article excerpt

"Looking Back: The 10th White Columns Annual"

WHITE COLUMNS

Yesterday's Newspaper, 2007, by Dave McKenzie, is just what its title announces: a folded issue of a day-old local paper resting on a low wooden platform. The piece provides a pause, a reminder of the headlines that earned our brief attention, one step out of sync with the nonstop twenty-four-hour news cycle. But it also repeats the pitiable fate of those above-the-fold stories: discarded one day past relevance, the paper on the pedestal must continually give way to time: another day, another yesterday. McKenzie's piece, which appeared at the forefront of the White Columns Annual, also served as compelling shorthand for the exhibition as a whole. Each year, the venerable nonprofit asks an artist, writer, curator, or collective to create a show from artworks of the previous season. The slim constraints--the works are meant to have been shown in New York in the year prior but can be from galleries, art fairs, studios--give the Annual a sense of critical urgency, a last-chance-before-it's-gone excitement, but it also means that the show can be burdened with the slightly exclusionary feel of an insider's club.

For the tenth anniversary of the exhibition, artist and White Columns director and chief curator Matthew Higgs chose works by twenty-five artists. True to his other prolific curatorial concerns, Higgs grouped the work of hot up-and-comers (Justin Adian's Flavin-like corner piece of painted foam, Bill Jenkins's thirty-nine-minute video of the street taken from a shopping cart) with that of more established outsider artists (Christopher Knowles's stunning typings Lamp and Eight Ladders, both 1985-86, with their grids of red and black typed c's and, in a pairing that was a high point of the exhibition, Birdie Lusch's rough-hewn "fork, spoon, and knife holders") and that of artists with mental and developmental disabilities who work with nonprofits such as Healing Arts Initiative and Creative Growth (Alyson Vega's bleak fabric pieces; William Scott's wholesome reimagining of the globe as an Inner Skyline Opportunity Space for Peace Celebrating, 2014). …

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