Whitney Biennial 2008

Overview

This book accompanies the 2008 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art, always a highly anticipated event in the art world. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney’s biennial exhibitions have received acclaim, stirred controversy, and unfailingly fostered artistic innovation and diversity. The 2008 Biennial features some 85 artists and collectives working in many media and employing a variety of methods and practices.

The book is abundantly ...

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Overview

This book accompanies the 2008 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art, always a highly anticipated event in the art world. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney’s biennial exhibitions have received acclaim, stirred controversy, and unfailingly fostered artistic innovation and diversity. The 2008 Biennial features some 85 artists and collectives working in many media and employing a variety of methods and practices.

The book is abundantly illustrated, with the vast majority of its 300 images presented in color. Whitney curators Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin provide insightful essays, as does a specially commissioned essay by Rebecca Solnit. In one section of the book, a short text accompanies reproductions of each artist’s work; other sections present documentation of the artists’ diverse methods and practices as represented in the Biennial exhibition.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has vigorously supported the development of 20th- and 21st-century American art since its founding, and that commitment is reflected nowhere more clearly than in the sponsorship of the Biennial exhibition, the museum’s signature survey of contemporary art.

For more information on the Whitney Biennial 2008 and its participating artists, visit www.whitney.org.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, is forever an exercise in the impossible but potentially exhilarating task of defining the contemporary art landscape (at times, it can feel more like an attendance-driven packaging of it). Catalogs for the biennial can be similarly misleading: compiled months before the actual exhibition or final checklist, they must necessarily offer overgeneralized and easily digestible entries on each artist's "issues." This year's catalog follows its predecessors' format but reflects the 2008 exhibition's refreshingly uncluttered, art-centered aesthetic while providing useful frameworks for the chosen 81 artists and collectives. In separate essays, Whitney associate curator Momin discusses the unresolved temporality of today's art; writer Rebecca Solnit argues that "the small is the politics of our time"; and Whitney assistant curator Huldisch addresses the "anti-spectacle" nature of contemporary art, even its failure-what, citing Samuel Beckett, she sees as a deliberate "lessness." Reading through this informative and thoughtful catalog and having possibly attended the accompanying exhibition, we realize these descriptions are not, in 2008, a bad thing at all. Recommended for art history collections.
—Prudence Peiffer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300136890
  • Publisher: Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Henriette Huldisch is assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Shamim M. Momin is an associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and branch director and curator of the Whitney Museum at Altria. Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist.

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