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whitney biennal "a" list


The Whitney Museum's "1997 Biennial Exhibition," Mar. 20-June 1, 1997, encapsulates what's hot in new art in New York--at least, insofar as the artists somehow fall into the category of "American Art," the museum's ever-more-constricting brief. This year the Biennial is jointly organized by longtime Whitney curator and experience Biennial hand Lisa Phillips and newcomer Louise Neri, the New York editor of Parkett, a high-class, thick art journal produced on paper. This is the first exhibition--since its inauguration in 1932--that an outside curator has participated in the selection.

Is there a guiding curatorial point-of-view? Yes, say the curators, a "certain psychological intensity and a hands-on quality. The exhibition has been developed around the idea of artists' cosmologies--meticulously constructed worlds where private concerns intersect with public reality."

Doug Aitken
Roman Anikushin and Bob Paris
Michael Ashkin
Robert Attanasio
Burt Barr
Zoe Beloff
Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT)
Douglas Blau
Louise Bourgeois
Chris Burden
Charles Burnett
Vija Celmins
Abigail Child
Francesco Clemente
Bruce Conner
Bryan Crockett
Philip-Lorca diCorcia
Cheryl Dunye
Sam Easterson
Wendy Ewald
William Forsythe
Leah Gilliam
Michael Gitlin
Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Dan Graham
David Hammons
Ken Jacobs
Ilya Kabakov
Martin Kersels
Annette Lawrence
Iara Lee
Zoe Leonard
Sharon Lockhart
Charles Long
Kristin Lucas

Kerry James Marshall
Antonio Martorell
Paul McCarthy
Amanda Miller
Paul D. Miller
Christopher Münch
Bruce Nauman
Gabriel Orozco
Tony Oursler
Laura Parnes
Jennifer Pastor
Raymond Pettibon
Richard Phillips
Lari Pittman
Richard Prince
Charles Ray
Matthew Ritchie
Jason Rhoades
Aaron Rose
Ed Ruscha
John Schabel
Katy Schimert
Glen Seator
Paul Shambroom
David Sherman
Shahzia Sikander
Shashwati Talukdar
Diana Thater
Cecilia Vicuña
Kara Walker
T.J. Wilcox
Sue Williams
Robert Wilson
The Wooster Group

Curiously, the release notes that the next Biennial, the 1999 edition, will be postponed till the spring of 2000. The show is sponsored by Beck's.

Some further notes from the release, briefly defining some of the notably young and unfamiliar names on the list: "Katy Schimert's delicate porcelain and foil topography; Bryan Crockett's viscera of balloons; and Jennifer Pastor's artificial nature of complex plastics and special-effects constructions"...."Shazia Sikander's reformulated traditional Indian miniatures"...."Zoe Beloff's tiny cinema of memories"...."Annette Lawrence's obsessive drawings in her own blood, based on the Mayan calendar"...."Glen Seator's altered reconstruction of the Whitney Museum Director's office"...."Paul Shambroom's vivid photographs of nuclear missile stations, which present disturbing juxtapositions of man and the tools of destruction"...."the backyard microcosms, produced with specially designed cameras, of Aaron Rose, a 65-year-old photographer whose works have not been shown to the public prior to this exhibition."

Video installations in the galleries include "the Bureau of Inverse Technology's constructed surveillance of suicide leaps from the Golden Gate Bridge"...."Kristin Lucas' personal adventures in technological pathology" and "internationally acclaimed choreographer William Forsythe's dynamic dance solo for film." Also on view: "a soundscape piece by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid)."

The show also includes a mural for the museum exterior (we're not sure by who) and an installation by Louise Bourgeois of her own clothes, "collected over a lifetime and arranged provocatively."