The Whitney Biennial, it’s the kind of exhibition where you wonder if the seat is really for sitting on or if you are about to sit on the art.
According to the guide I picked up earlier today:
“The exhibition offers a rare chance to look broadly at different types of work and various modes of working that can be called contemporary American art.”
Sounds good, eh? Then it just loses the plot by going on to say:
“Some borders – formal, conceptual, geographic, temporal – get tested, but how the breadth of art is expanding because it is the artist and makers themselves who are pushing boundaries: by collaborating, using the material of others, digging through archives, returning to supposedly forlorn materials, or refusing to neatly adhere to a particular medium or discipline.”
I love a bit of bonkers art, but this was all lost on me. Here’s my alternative guide:
“It’s a confusing mish-mash of media and ideas so far from attractive and understandable they made me yearn for something normal, something pretty to look at that I would actually recognise.”
I doubt anyone here really gets this stuff. I saw a lot of bored looking teenagers trailing after parents willing them to be interested. I would suggest that this is no place to inspire the next generation.
The Guide concludes by saying:
“We hope that the 2014 Biennial will suggest the profoundly diverse and hybrid identity of America today.”
I’m not sure I’d agree with that hope. There’s certainly no new Edward Hopper here.
You can decide for yourself, all the artwork is on the Biennial website. On until 25 May.