Sunday, March 7

one million photos i took at the Whitney Biennial...in my mind

After blogging a bit of the Armory I got a little excited about documenting art museums again after such a long hiatus without a camera. It was a real party balloon deflater however when the Whitney told me i couldn't take any photos...not even from their permanent collection! Before I realized this rule, I had taken my first photos of this David Hammonds piece on the top floor.
weird fake plants you ask? 
yes, very weird plants, dred locks growing from rocks and shedding wherever they please.

Those of you who have the history of Whitney Biennials memorized will say, Hey, this already showed at the Whitney, what's going on here?
Well, the Whitney decided to congratulate itself on the artwork it had bought from previous Biennialers, a kind of Whitney Biennial's Greatest Hits. The effect was that of a mini MoMA: Twombly, Johns, Rauschenberg, Hesse, Nauman, Rothko, Duane Hanson, Oldenberg, Kruger, Warhol, McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Vija Clemens ...which was fine. Here's the photo captions of the ones that interested me more than those oldies:
For one, I finally saw a little bit of video from Mathew Barney's Drawing Restraint.
For another they had out the Liz Larner object i love. Imagine a line drawing of a box. Now picture it larger than you, but the lines of the drawing are wobbly. How about if the drawing is made from steel pipes. Then the pipe is covered in paper pulp. And the paper is painted with watercolor. Beautiful, "Two or Three Somethings"
The show helped me remember my interest in Robert Gober with a door folding into itself piece. I was impressed when i learned that he has participated in 5 biennials.
But then i saw a Guston painting and the tag informed me that he had been part of no fewer than 21 biennials! He deserves it. I hate to just parrot the bandwagon, but nine times out of ten when i stand in front of a live Guston i get all worked up excited and want to go home and make an oil painting. that feeling usually dies in time for me to avoid going through with it, but might explain some of my interest in stacking things.
Then i saw the famous Hopper of the long shadowed street with the barber shop pole. 26 biennials! Long live the king of the Whitney, Edward Hopper.
Speaking of getting worked up over painting, this was the first time an Ad Reinhardt excited me, a nice red one with a greenish grey frame.
Liked seeing again the Allan McCullom fake paintings in fake frames "Plaster Surrogates" 1982-1989 (can't go wrong with repetition!).
What i really want to have in my house is this Richard Artschwager cube covered in different colored formica to look like a simple abstraction of a table covered in a cloth. "Description of Table" 1964. [for the record i also want that Robert Gober Giant cube of butter made from beeswax lying on a sheet of wax paper hand painted like a butter wrapper, not pictured but maybe pictured early on in this blog's history]

Man, now I've run out of steam for the real Whitney captions, and to tell the truth, now that I look at my notes, maybe i don't have much to report. So i'll report my friend.
I was excited to see Kate Gilmore's video of performance on sculpture. Yes, i am biased because she is a friend from Art Omi residency, but i like to think that i would still be into her work even if i didn't know her. Here we see Kate in a polka dot dress and high heels stuck in a narrow and tall chimney shape made of drywall.  she punches and kicks to make footholds and handholds to climb out of her restrictive box (now make a feminist metaphor).