Magazine article Sculpture

2012 Whitney Biennial

Magazine article Sculpture

2012 Whitney Biennial

Article excerpt

NEW YORK

Whitney Museum of American Art

The 2012 Whitney Biennial was a modest affair. Whether by choice or necessity, this economy of means resulted in a refreshingly accessible exhibition with a personal, DIY aesthetic, one that acknowledged the downsized ambitions and reduced funding of the Great Recession while remaining intent on taking the pulse of the contemporary art world. With selected artists numbering around 50, curators Elizabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders accented the hybrid, collective, and expanded parameters of current art practice by including performance, dance, and theater along with installations, painting, and sculpture.

Dissolving boundaries between mediums, exhibition spaces, artists, and the public, the biennial became a container for the uncontainable. The Whitney's landmarked Marcel Breuer building was transformed into a single large-scale installation that deconstructed its high Modernist aesthetic by literally taking down the walls from within. One whole floor was given over to performance; in the first week, Sarah Michelson choreographed a dance on the Breuer building's ground plan. Other floors presented installations that became backdrops for performances over the course of the show's run or shows within the show-for instance, a mini-display of the work of Forrest Bess (1911-77) curated by Robert Gober and a three-walled space covered with patterned velvet designed by Nick Mauss that included sculptures and paintings from the Whitney collection. Dawn Kasper, who moved her whole studio into the museum, was her own object on display.

Many of the collaborations expanded parameters-the Texas-based band Red Krayola, for instance, joined with the British Art and Language group to compose an opera and book drawn from their interaction with the public through a Skype portal; Jason and Alice Hall Moran, teaming up with Joan Jonas, Simone Leigh, Liz Magic Laser, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Maurice Berger, performed a live music and mixed-media installation (BLEED); and Oscar Tuazon's chainlink fence and metal sculpture in the lobby served as an industrialthemed runway for a K8 Hardy fashion show. Theatrical, time-based, and evanescent, these collaborations argued for the inclusive and expanded scope of sculpture, a role that, while dematerializing the object, sought to entice viewers to return again and again to see what might happen next. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.