The 75th edition of the Whitney Biennial is a peculiar show. It does not seem to represent a comprehensive survey of American art produced in the last two years, but rather a group show of artists reflecting on recession, war and nostalgia. Most of the works from the fifty-five artists seem personal, except for a few that use shock treatments to criticize the ethics of modern warfare or cultural attitudes.
However, there are a few pieces that I find interesting, like Lesley Vance’s beautiful oil paintings, which resemble a long exposure photograph of a not-so-still nature.
Dawn Clement’s Mrs. Jessica Drummond’s (“My Reputation,” 1945), a floor-to-ceiling drawing of a 1940s movie scene, is an impressive piece that pulls you into a spatial narrative.
Pae White’s Still, Untitled is a massive 3 x 6 meter smoke image that looks like a stunning photograph but is in fact a tapestry.
In After the Dust, Second View (Beirut), Curtis Mann creates an puzzling quilt of an erased Beirut using altered images of the recent 2006 conflict aftermath.
Whitney Biennial 2010
Date: February 25th – May 30th, 2010
Place: Whitney Museum of American Art
Address: 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 570-3600