New York

Dan Walsh, Threshold, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70". From the Whitney Biennial.

Dan Walsh, Threshold, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70". From the Whitney Biennial.

New York

Whitney Biennial

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
March 7, 2014–May 25, 2013

Curated by Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner

In its final year uptown, the Whitney presents three Biennials in one, giving a floor to each of a trio of outside organizers. Michelle Grabner, artist and impresario of the Suburban in Oak Park, Illinois, will usher in painting and sculpture with special attention to craft; ICA Philadelphia curator and WhiteWalls publisher Anthony Elms will cast an editor’s eye on cultural production; and MoMA’s Stuart Comer will top it all off with expertise in film and performance. Though this parfait-style exhibition may prove difficult to pin down, one inclination clearly emerges across all three tiers: a preference for seasoned careers over fresh, emergent pluck; of the 103 participants, all but nine were born before the Reagan era, and many boast institutionally weighted CVs. With offerings by imprints (Semiotext[e]), writers (Susan Howe), musicians (Pauline Oliveros), and those in a category of their own (Charlemagne Palestine), the Biennial will, once again, take the temperature of the contemporary.