The Whitney Biennial 2012

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Sculpture, painting, installations, and photography—as well as dance, theater, music, and film—will fill the galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art in the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial. With a roster of artists at all points in their careers the Biennial provides a look at the current state of contemporary art in America. This is the seventy-sixth in the ongoing series of Biennials and Annuals presented by the Whitney since 1932, two years after the Museum was founded.

The 2012 Biennial takes over most of the Whitney from March 1 through May 27, with portions of the exhibition and some programs continuing through June 10. The participating artists were selected by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator/Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney, and Jay Sanders, a freelance curator and writer who has spent the past ten years working both in the gallery world and on independent curatorial projects. Sussman and Sanders co-curated the Biennial’s film program with Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the co-founders of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn. Read more

Image above from Flavorwire’s “Must-See Cheat Sheet for the Whitney Biennial 2012″: “Artist Dawn Kasper has moved into the third floor galleries for a three-month-long performance piece THIS COULD BE SOMETHING IF I LET IT. As part of her Nomadic Studio Practice Experiment, her entire studio and most of her bedroom has made it here — a bed, theater props, record players, movie projections, and art supplies, which may or may not include sterilization and self-tattoo equipment. She’ll be here every museum day, creating art, doing studio visits.”

Biennial Events
The Whitney’s fourth-floor Emily Fisher Landau Galleries will become a dynamic 6,000-square-foot performance space for music, dance, theater, and other events. This is the first Whitney Biennial in which nearly a full floor of the Museum has been given over to a changing season of performances, events, and residencies. Choreographers Sarah Michelson and Michael Clark will be in residence in March and early April; additional Biennial residencies and events will be announced in the coming weeks.

For Kids Whitney Biennial 2012: Kids audio guide stop for Moyra Davey Protests against Sotheby’s outside, performances for the VIPs inside

Impressions from the VIP Preview of the 2012 Whitney Biennale at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Highlights include performances by the artists Dawn Kasper, and installations by Sam Lewitt, Cameron Crawford, and Oscar Tuazon.

More Whitney Biennial 2012 coverage coming soon at

- Washington Post: Occupy calls for end of Whitney Biennial
- Artinfo: Crashing the Biennial: Locked-Out Sotheby’s Workers Take Their Fight to the Whitney

- The Arts and Labor group of Occupy Wall Street wrote a letter, excerpted here:

“We object to the biennial in its current form because it upholds a system that benefits collectors, trustees, and corporations at the expense of art workers. The biennial perpetuates the myth that art functions like other professional careers and that selection and participation in the exhibition, for which artists themselves are not compensated, will secure a sustainable vocation. This fallacy encourages many young artists to incur debt from which they will never be free and supports a culture industry and financial and cultural institutions that profit from their labors and financial servitude.”

The group may also be tied to a hoax Web site for the Biennial, which claimed that the museum made the “difficult decision” to sever ties with two sponsors, Sothebys and Deutsche Bank, the New York Times reports.

Vlog: The Whitney’s Collection: Mabel Dwight

In this video blog (or, “vlog”), educator Lauren Ridloff discusses three lithographs by artist Mabel Dwight, on view in the exhibition Real/Surreal.
More videos at WhitneyFocus on Youtube.

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