PRINT Summer 1991

NEW YORK: The Whitney Biennial

AT LAST THERE'S A VOICE TO HEAR. For the first time, the curators of the painting and sculpture sections of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s last four biennial—Richard Armstrong, Richard Marshall, and Lisa Phillips (who had two collaborators in 1985 and since have done it alone)—have come out from the phalanx and spoken as individuals in the catalogue. Realizing with dismay that they are not writers, one still welcomes the reality of a voice and the fact that something is actually said in the generally lifeless prose. Marshall declares the Whitney’s desire to “substantiate its commitment to contemporary art” by enlarging this biennial to three floors of the museum. Armstrong speaks of a “more forthright and responsive relationship to society” in recent art, where “ironic detachment has long since been abandoned in favor of overtly social discourses.” Phillips reviews the political

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