Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Whitney Biennial: The Most Narcissistic of All New York Art World Events

By Jed Perl
Charline von Heyl's Folk Tales, 2013. Acrylic, ink, wax, and charcoal and collage on paper.
NEW YORK---The first thing to be said about the Biennial, which began in 1932, is how astonishing it is that after all these years people still care. Year after year, the critics and sundry cognoscenti conclude that the show is a mess of one kind or another. At least in the last thirty years, it’s become the out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new show, which sometimes involves recycling the old things as new things; after all, how much in the world is ever really new? The Biennial is the most purely narcissistic of all New York art world events, an orgy of navel-gazing that can leave a bad feeling—a sense of unease, if not disgust. [link]