Tuesday, March 14, 2006

MAN on the biennial

MAN says this about the Whitney Biennial:

"It is the worst contemporary group show I've seen in a major museum since The American Effect, which was (coincidentally) at the Whitney in 2003...

Of course, that the Biennial's soul is borrowed from a more accomplished show is fitting, because so much of the art in this show is a too-small step away from what inspired it. Paul Chan's light projection flirts with James Turrell. Peter Doig takes a pass at Gauguin. I'm not the first to note that Troy Brauntuch apes Gerhard Richter. Billy Sullivan did Elizabeth Peyton. And Kori Newkirk flirts with the shower curtain aisle at Target."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more, and i didn't see the show. my peeve is "second-hand" artists who do poor imitations of other artists: doig, sullivan et al. if you're going to steal, improve on the original.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck yeah man. you know it!

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the biennial last weekend during the gamut of art fairs. It was rewarding and refreshing to experience an exhibition that tackled the war in Iraq (there's plenty of anti-Bush sentiments), consumerism, and racial issues. It also recognized the importance of play and the beauty of innocence. It was also great to see such artists as Billy Sullivan in the mix. His early and important contributions have informed such artists as Peyton.

Overall the group of artists celebrated a sense of materiality that was immediate. There is still the ongoing celebration of craft, but it's presented with such ease and energy, the same ferver and freedom which allows them to rehash any previous style in order to get THEIR statement heard.

This biennial is intensely emotional and thought provoking. It's a welcome shift from the work that work that ignited greed at the fairs.

8:26 PM  

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