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Richard Aldrich
Untitled
2008
Collection of the artist; courtesy Bortolami Gallery
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THE OBAMA BIENNIAL
by Jerry Saltz



The cover of the 2010 Whitney Biennial catalogue displays a picture of Barack Obama as a Dapper Dan cowboy. Inside, guest curator Francesco Bonami and co-curator Gary Carrion-Murayari call the president "the coolest artist of all" and say their show is about "innovative forms," "new relationships" and "personal modernism." After two biennials devoted to dealing with "failure" and "darkness," this catalogue speaks of "renewal" and "optimism." Yes, itís the Obama Biennial: alternately moving and frustrating, challenging and disappointing -- and a big improvement on what came before.

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