Whitney Biennial 2012


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Edited by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders; With contributions by Thomas Beard, Andrea Fraser, Ed Halter, David Joselit, and John Kelsey

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Read more about the 2012 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Since its introduction in 1932, the Whitney Biennial—the Museum's signature exhibition and a highly anticipated event in the art world—has charted new developments in contemporary art. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, these biennial exhibitions have demonstrated the museum's commitment to supporting the development of 20th- and 21st-century American art.

The 2012 Biennial features works by approximately 50 artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, dance, and performance. Elisabeth Sussman (co-organizer of the influential, politically provocative 1993 Whitney Biennial) and Jay Sanders provide an insightful joint essay, and a group of art historians and critics contribute entries on common themes and ideas from the represented artists' techniques and influences. In addition, a significant portion of the catalogue is devoted to original contributions from each of the participating artists, in a unique effort to provide a more experiential understanding of the exhibition.

Participating artists:

Kai Althoff
Thom Andersen
Charles Atlas
Lutz Bacher
Forrest Bess (by Robert Gober)
Michael Clark
Dennis Cooper and Gisèle Vienne
Cameron Crawford
Moyra Davey
Liz Deschenes
Nathaniel Dorsky
Nicole Eisenman
Kevin Jerome
Vincent Fecteau
Andrea Fraser
LaToya Ruby
Vincent Gallo
K8 Hardy
Richard Hawkins
Werner Herzog
Jerome Hiler
Matt Hoyt
Dawn Kasper
Mike Kelley
John Kelsey
John Knight
Jutta Koether
George Kuchar
Laida Lertxundi
Kate Levant
Sam Lewitt
Joanna Malinowska
Andrew Masullo
Nick Mauss
Richard Maxwell
Sarah Michelson
Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran
Laura Poitras
Matt Porterfield
Luther Price
Lucy Raven
The Red Krayola
Kelly Reichardt
Elaine Reichek
Michael Robinson
Georgia Sagri
Michael E. Smith
Tom Thayer
Wu Tsang
Oscar Tuazon
Frederick Wiseman

For more information on the 2012 Whitney Biennial, please visit: http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2012Biennial

Distributed for the Whitney Museum of American Art

Exhibition Schedule:

Whitney Museum of American Art(03/01/12-05/27/12)

Elisabeth Sussman is curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Jay Sanders is an independent curator and critic.


Whitney Museum of American Art(03/01/12-05/27/12)

"This years’ curators, Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders, did something radical: they abolished the standard format—one dreary pedagogic entry per artist, accompanied by one reproduction—and gave each of the participants free reign for six pages. The result is an omnibus of livres d’artistes that, like the biennial proper, rewards repeated immersion."—Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, Book Bench blog

“The catalogue, typically a by-the-book affair (no pun intended), has matched the show’s experiential adventure, allotting each of the roughly fifty artists six pages for original contributions that extend, rather than merely reflect, the work in the museum..”—Nicole Rudick, Paris Review Daily

“There's a strong literary proclivity, especially in the catalogue, which includes some extraordinary writing by and about the artists."—Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

“[Her catalog essay] is in fact [Andrea] Fraser’s contribution to the Biennial. And she uses the opportunity to articulate some of the more insidious forms of political hypocrisy and economic complicity that lie hidden in plain view throughout the art world. . .Fraser’s artwork registers as operative rather than moralizing. It’s a cornerstone of the exhibition in so far as it activates the latent political substance of much of the work in the show.” —T Magazine
ISBN: 9780300180367
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Whitney Museum of American Art
320 pages, 9 3/4 x 12 1/2
361 color + 42 b/w illus.
Rituals of Rented Island

Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1980

Jay Sanders with J. Hoberman

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Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner

Christine Macel and Elisabeth Sussman; With a contribution

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Astro Noise

A Survival Guide for Living Under Total Surveillance

Laura Poitras; With an introduction by Jay Sanders and cont

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Danny Lyon

Message to the Future

Julian Cox; With Elisabeth Sussman, Alexander Nemerov, Dani

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Nick Mauss; With contributions by Joshua Lubin-Levy, Scott

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Rachel Harrison Life Hack

Elisabeth Sussman and David Joselit; With contributions by

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