previews

Lutz Bacher, Pipe Organ, 2009-2011, tin, paint, speakers, four pipes, and a Yamaha organ, dimensions variable.

New York

Whitney Biennial

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
March 1–May 27, 2012

Curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders

This living, evolving iteration of the Whitney Biennial (perhaps the last to appear in the famed Breuer building) will give us the American classic in a versatile and fluctuating format: Painting and sculpture installed in an open-plan design such that the idiosyncrasies of the museum’s near-windowless brutalist shell will dictate spatial relations; meanwhile, a designated cinema space––programmed in consultation with Light Industry founders Thomas Beard and Ed Halter––will displace the usual warren of looped-video viewing rooms, allowing invited filmmakers to host screenings of their own work along with that of their influences. Expect to make repeat visits––not just for the films but also for a throng of music, theater, and dance projects planned to take over the fourth floor. Who’s to say whether these structural and programmatic innovations are enough to channel America’s recent revolutionary rumblings, but at least for the spring, the work of the fifty-some artists featured here may well radicalize the Whitney.