Synopses & Reviews
Since its introduction in 1932, the Whitney Biennialand#8212;the Museum's signature exhibition and a highly anticipated event in the art worldand#8212;has charted new developments in contemporary art. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, these biennial exhibitions have demonstrated the museum's commitment to supporting the development of 20th- and 21st-century American art.
The 2012 Biennial features works by approximately 50 artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, dance, and performance. Elisabeth Sussman (co-organizer of the influential, politically provocative 1993 Whitney Biennial) and Jay Sanders provide an insightful joint essay, and a group of art historians and critics contribute entries on common themes and ideas from the represented artists' techniques and influences. In addition, a significant portion of the catalogue is devoted to original contributions from each of the participating artists, in a unique effort to provide a more experiential understanding of the exhibition.
Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
Dennis Cooper and Gisand#232;le Vienne
Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran
The Red Krayola
Michael E. Smith
For more information on the 2012and#160;Whitney Biennial, please visit: http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2012Biennial
"This yearsand#8217; curators, Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, did something radical: they abolished the standard formatand#8212;one dreary pedagogic entry per artist, accompanied by one reproductionand#8212;and gave each of the participants free reign for six pages. The result is an omnibus of livres dand#8217;artistes that, like the biennial proper, rewards repeated immersion."and#8212;Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, Book Bench blog
and#8220;The catalogue, typically a by-the-book affair (no pun intended), has matched the showand#8217;s experiential adventure, allotting each of the roughly fifty artists six pages for original contributions that extend, rather than merely reflect, the work in the museum..and#8221;and#8212;Nicole Rudick, Paris Review Daily
and#8220;There's a strong literary proclivity, especially in the catalogue, which includes some extraordinary writing by and about the artists."and#8212;Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker
and#8220;[Her catalog essay] is in fact [Andrea] Fraserand#8217;s contribution to the Biennial. And she uses the opportunity to articulate some of the more insidious forms of political hypocrisy and economic complicity that lie hidden in plain view throughout the art world. . .Fraserand#8217;s artwork registers as operative rather than moralizing. Itand#8217;s a cornerstone of the exhibition in so far as it activates the latent political substance of much of the work in the show.and#8221; and#8212;T Magazine
"This carefully, genuinely critical appreciation of Thek's art reinforces and raises readers' admiration for the artist and will shape analyses of his contributions to the neo-Dada tradition."and#8212;W. B. Folkestad, CHOICE
"Besides more than 134 plates, this invaluable retrospective contains stills from Eggleston's cinema veritand#233; videotape Stranded in Canton and six cogent, jargon-free essays, the best by Eggleston's longtime writer friend, Stanley Booth."and#8212;Booklist
"Some of the imagesand#8212;an oven interior, shower stall, ceiling with electrical cords and light bulband#8212;are classics. But this catalog . . . goes back to Eggleston's black-and-white work and extends to videos, becoming the most comprehensive volume on a master it's impossible to overrate."and#8212;Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune
An exciting showcase of innovative works by contemporary American artists
An American sculptor, painter, and installation artist,and#160;Paul Thek (1933--1988) is primarily known for hyper-realisticand#160;works of human body parts executed in fleshlike beeswax and for his strongly symbolic, room-size installations constructed from transitory materials. A major figure on the 1960s New York art scene, Thek also spent time in Europe, where he paved the way for artists adopting collaborative strategies. Although he gained a large following and was featured in more than one hundred solo and group exhibitions, the anti-establishment and#8220;artistand#8217;s artistand#8221; was practically forgotten at the time of his death.
Major exhibitions abroad and critical attention from younger artists have done much to revive his reputation, and Paul Thek: Diver expands on those efforts by bringing the artistand#8217;s resounding influence on the art world up to date. Published to accompany Thekand#8217;s first retrospective in the United States, this landmark publication includes nearly 300 chronologically arranged illustrations of sculptures, paintings, prints, and other works featured in the exhibition as well as four special and#8220;in-depthand#8221; image sections focusing on key installations, projects, and pages from the artistand#8217;s journals.and#160; An extensive selection of documentary photographs, many never before published, illuminate Thekand#8217;s artistic aesthetic and production process. With a bibliography, exhibition history, and checklist of works in the exhibition, this overdue acknowledgment of Thekand#8217;s brief, but broad-reaching career will be the authoritative volume on the artist for years to come.
Elvisand#8217;s Graceland, a freezer stuffed with food, a Gulf gasoline sign standing in a deserted rural landscapeand#151;these are only a few of the iconic images captured by the and#147;democratic cameraand#8221; of photographer William Eggleston. Not only has he drawn upon images so telling of American culture, he has produced them with an intensity and balance of color that have helped elevate the entire field of color photography to a fine art, especially since his 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
Drawing together Egglestonand#8217;s famous and lesser-known works, this lavishly illustrated catalogue is the first to examine both his photography and videos. Of particular relevance are his black-and-white images from the late 1950s and 1960s, which helped shape his color photography, as well as the relationship between his provocative video recordings of 1970s Memphis nightlife and his later work. Included are reproductions of newly restored prints, executed specifically for the exhibition.
Filled with new and challenging contributions to scholarship and accompanying the first major U.S. survey of his work, this catalogue will prove the standard reference for Egglestonand#8217;s photographs for years to come.
Highlights from an unparalleled contemporary art collection are featured in this handsomely illustrated book.
For more than 30 years, Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner have devoted themselves to contemporary art, and through their passion and acumen have assembled an extraordinary collection. This handsomely illustrated volume is the first to document the collection of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, more than 850 artworks in all media that have been promised to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Artists represented include Lee Friedlander, Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Ryan Gander, and Bernadette Corporation, among others, and the works span from the 1950s to 2014.
Over 300 highlights illustrate the collectorsandrsquo; commitment to acquiring works that challenge, excite, confound, and amuse. Essays offer context for understanding the importance of the works as a group and illuminate the art world milieus in which the collectors immersed themselves. The book also includes an engaging interview with the collectors, providing a personal perspective on contemporary art acquisition.and#160;
About the Author
Elisabeth Sussman is curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and editor of Gordon Matta-Clark: and#147;You Are the Measure.and#8221; Thomas Weski is chief curator of the Haus der Kunst, Munich. Tina Kukielski is senior curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art. Stanley Booth is an independent music critic and writer. Donna De Salvo is chief curator and associate director of programs, Whitney Museum of American Art, and coeditor of Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. and#160;