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Tom Thayer, installation of paper puppets and sets in the Whitney Biennial 2012
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Whitney Biennial 2012

by Jerry Saltz

The 2012 Whitney Biennial is a quiet, incomplete manifesto. It reimagines what a biennial is and explores the ways artists are taking matters into their own hands, resetting the agenda and fighting back against an art world that had been focused on selling, buzz and bigness. We’re all still in shock from the ways in which the esthetic conversation was kidnapped; this show tries to move on. It is about artists probing for ways around irony and cynicism without falling prey to sentimentality, oversimplification or regression.


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