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Whitney Biennial 2014
     

Whitney Biennial 2014

by Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, Michelle Grabner
 

A striking accompaniment to the 2014 biennial exhibition, which presents the perspectives of three innovative guest curators

The Whitney Biennial, the Museum’s signature exhibition, has charted some of the most exciting new work in contemporary art since it was first introduced in 1932. Three guest curators—Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and

Overview


A striking accompaniment to the 2014 biennial exhibition, which presents the perspectives of three innovative guest curators

The Whitney Biennial, the Museum’s signature exhibition, has charted some of the most exciting new work in contemporary art since it was first introduced in 1932. Three guest curators—Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner—offer diverse views of contemporary art today. Whitney Biennial 2014 serves as a record of this historic exhibition, featuring the work of almost 100 artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, dance, and performance. Divided into three distinct sections presenting each curator’s unique perspective, this superb resource features specially commissioned texts alongside curatorial essays and unique visual content prepared by the Biennial participants.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
Designed and organized to replicate the 2014 Whitney Biennial, this diverse and dynamic catalogue reflects the eclectic nature of the exhibit itself. Divided into three sections, each is devoted to the choices of one of the Biennial's guest curators, who, for the first time in the exhibition's history, were chosen from outside of the Whitney and outside of New York City. Each essay is revealing in its own right: Comer's for interrogation of American art and identity; Elms's for his impressionistic and impassioned account of the curatorial process; and Grabner's for her vision of curation as curriculum and art exhibitions as potential classrooms. Every section includes splendid color reproductions of the artwork along with essays by art critics, poets, academics, and other artists in the first section, essays by the exhibited artists themselves in the second, and interviews with the artists in the third. The catalogue's strength is its diversity of image, idea, and text. Though its visual, textual, and intellectual multiplicities can be disorienting, perhaps this effect is intentional. The book will be of great interest to all invested in contemporary art and its curation. 250 color and 50 b&w illus. (Mar.)
Library Journal
06/15/2014
In the Biennial exhibition's early years (it was first introduced in 1932), the Whitney museum in New York played down the curators' role, leaving their names out of the catalog altogether, deeming that art and artists should be center stage, curators behind the scenes. The museum has more recently concluded that in an era absent of dominant schools of art and defining paradigms the selection process should be transparent, recognizing that curators are important observers of today's art world. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a catalog in which the curators were more visible than this one. In it, a panoply of voices (artists, critics, writers) create a lively, collective discussion, rather than acting as remote authorities. The exhibition's three organizers (Comer, chief curator, Museum of Modern Art; Anthony Elms, assistant director, Gallery 400; and Michelle Grabner, painting & drawing, Art Inst. of Chicago, none from Whitney's own curatorial staff, for the first time) seem deeply involved, engaged, and passionate. What's more, the 2014 catalog suggests a rich, loosely gathered archive for each reader to sift through and discover. VERDICT This is an exciting work that will probably be of greatest appeal for those who have already seen the Biennial and would like to continue their discovery of the artists and the artworks. Readers expecting a more conventional catalog may be puzzled by this intriguing treasure trove. [See "Whitney Turns the Page," p. 94.]—Michael Dashkin, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300196870
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/25/2014
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Stuart Comer is chief curator of the department of media and performance art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Anthony Elms is associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and editor of WhiteWalls, an independent publisher of artists' books and projects. Michelle Grabner is professor and chair of the department of painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and operates two exhibition spaces, The Suburban and The Poor Farm.

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