Whitney Biennial 2010 New York 2 / 2

(c) Maureen Gallace: 'Cape Cod, Early September 2008'; oil on panel; 12 x 12 in./30,5 x 30,5 cm; collection of the artist

The foreclosure of houses was another dominant issue in recent two years. It seems that is why the curators put Maureen Gallace and James Casabere into the Whitney Biennial 2010:


Ms. Gallace does small-size paintings of New-England houses in a Hopper style. There are no doors or windows. She has been painting in this style for more than 17 years now. Some consider these works as decorative gift shop paintings, other see references to Minimal art in them (she did also a series on Marfa, TX). Honestly, I don’t really see the relevance for this kind of painting today.


(c) James Casabere, Studio View New York, 2009, courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, NY; photo credit Ch.Rodrigez

James Casabere has been making photographs from strangely illuminated cardboard suburbs for years now. I like the anonymous menace in his photos of fake neighborhoods.


It is to welcome that, in this biennial, there are more female artists, than in any other Whitney biennial before. The works however, are not explicit feministic. The curators say, ‘these artists simply happened to be women.’



There were also two video works, I really liked:


(c) Jesse Aron Green: Still from 'Ärtztliche Zimmergymnastik', 2008, Hi-Definition video projection, color, sound, 80 min loop, collection of the artist

Jesse Aaron Green’s video ‘Ärztliche Zimmergymnsatik (Medicalized Indoor Gymnastics)’. The title is taken from a book by the German physician Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber of 1858. A number of male actors perform the 45 gymnastic exercises on small Minimal-style wood platforms. An invisible off-speaker reads Dr. Schreber’s text about ‘maintaining the health and vigor of body and mind’. The setting of the actors and evokes references to Minimal and Conceptual art.


(c) Marianne Vitale: 'Patron', 2009, video, color, sound, 8:36 min., collection of the artist; courtesy IBID Projects London

Marianne Vitale’s video ‘Patron’ of 2009 is also about authoritarian tendencies. She orders the audience to follow her more and more abusive or surreal commands, like ‘Spit at the ceiling above you’.


I think these two video works are great pieces about all too rigid or authoritarian life concepts.



In these current times of uncertainty, the curators also seem to focus on beauty and artistic mastership:



(c) Tauba Auerbach: 'Untitled Fold Painting III', 2009, acrylic on linnen, 80x60 in. / 203x152 cm; Collection of the artist; courtesy Deitch Projects, New York, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco and New York, and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo. Photo Credit: A.Reich

Tauba Auerbach does clever conceptual paintings, which fake to be op-art.



(c) Lesley Vance: 'Untitled (12)', 2009. Oil on linen, 18 × 15 in. (45.7 × 38.1 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

Leslie Vance creates small abstract paintings in dark colors. As a starting point, she uses photos of still lifes. Then, she develops her abstractions from that point on. They are very beautiful.


(c) Roland Flexner: 'Untitled', 2008-09. Sumi ink on paper, 5 1/2 × 7 in. (14 × 17.8 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York

Roland Flexner makes even smaller abstract drawings in an elaborate Japanese Sumi ink technique. I enjoy finding such treasures in this biennial. In the setting of a large-scale art fair works like that easily would be overlooked.


This is a calm biennial. It is limited to the Whitney’s own museum space only. There is no spectacle. Instead, it focuses in many pieces on the subjectivity of the artist and the world around him. I like that.


by U.G.


Whitney Biennial ‘2010’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Through 30 May 2010


(c) photo by Premier Art Scene


Shawn, 22-03-10 23:05
I think it's cool, that it's more personal!
ppxftta, 18-10-12 14:01
Ingrid, 02-09-13 06:42
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I meant comparing the two entities: wikipedia versus fiction. In my opinion, wikipedia, and going even further in general, the internet, is far, far more educational than fiction.They are two very different things - fiction books and wikipedia / other internet articles. Very different.: What is literature? Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Ernest Hemmingway… the list of important authors in the course of historyLiterature is books. Different books. Fiction books. The most important authors from the course of history... they are important for history, not for literature.Everyone has his own most important authors. The literature is art, not sciense.It is like music or anime or cinema, some songs or films are most important for you. And it is all completely individually.But literature differs from music or films in many ways.: What determines the work of Tolstoy to be literature and discriminates against Orson Scott Card (possibly my favorite science fiction author) ?I think that such division is stupid. Maybe Tolstoy wrote about something that is not important for you? Or not important for you now?I know many people that do not like Tolstoy and other classic books when they was young, but read it with pleasure after being 30 or 40 years old.It is normal.: nd if wikipedia doesn’t fulfill your desire to learn the world behind “War and Peace”, then you can go research further on the internet.Here is the point. You will be doing research about world behind the War an Peace. Not even about the novel. And of course not about ideas and meanings that Tolstoy want to told you.Fiction books are not about world or things or actions or scientific researches. They are about people. Fiction books told us about what people think and feel. About thoghts and emotions.People are very complex and various.And literature (fiction books) can teach us a lot about people.The War and Peace are not about war, not about peace. It is about people.And in very deed it is not about Natasha o Pier or other characters. It is about author, Tolstoy.In his book Tolstoy tries to tell you something about people. He tries to teach you something.May be you not need just this knowledge. But I think in all other hemospheres of knowledge is the same, your do not need all knowledge.All this things fit to other fiction books - it may be Orson Scott Card or may favorite Veronica Ivanova or Zelazny or any other books and authors.It is the basis of literature. http://carquotesoptions.com/ http://www.getaccreditedonlinedegrees.net/ http://www.encounterberlin.com/rent-a-car-in-berlin.html
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