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Indepth Arts News:

"The Whitney Biennial 2002 Opens in New York"
2002-03-07 until 2002-05-26
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, NY, USA

The Whitney Museum of American Art will present the work of 113 artists and collaborative teams in the 2002 Biennial Exhibition, the largest Biennial since 1981. Most of the Museum will be taken over by the Biennial: it will fill the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors, as well as the Museum's Sculpture Court, stairwell, main elevator, and Lobby Gallery, which will be transformed into a sound installation room. For the first time, in conjunction with the Public Art Fund, several Biennial pieces will be presented in Central Park.

The 113 artists and collaborative teams in the exhibition represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Established artists, like sculptor Kiki Smith, painter Vija Celmins, filmmaker Ken Jacobs, and composer Meredith Monk, will be shown alongside numerous artists who are less well known. The exhibition includes the largest representation of architecture, sound art, performance art, and Internet art ever presented in a Biennial.

The chief curator of the 2002 Biennial is Lawrence Rinder, the Whitney's Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator of Contemporary Art, who developed the exhibition in collaboration with three of his Whitney colleagues: Chrissie Iles, curator of film and video, chose works to be shown in the Museum's Kaufman Astoria Studios Film and Video Gallery; Internet-based art works were selected by Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of new media arts; and performance and sound art by Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art.

The curators traveled to 43 towns and cities in 27 states and to Puerto Rico to view works; artists born in 23 countries, working in 20 states and Puerto Rico, and ranging in age from 24 to 71, will be included in the show.

The 2002 Biennial pays tribute to the spirit and variety of American artistic practice throughout the country, said Lawrence Rinder, the chief curator of the exhibition. Artists are exploring a wide range of media and new technologies that are giving them previously unimagined freedoms. At the same time there is a resurgent interest in traditional media and visceral, do-it-yourself practices. Not restricted by a single theme, the Biennial will expose multiple, sometimes conflicting currents, as well as extraordinary works that fall outside of any conventional aesthetic definition.

The 2002 Biennial is the 71st in the series of Annuals and Biennials inaugurated by Whitney Museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932.

Luis Gispert, Untitled (Three Asian Cheerleaders), 2001.
Fujiflex print mounted on aluminum,
40 x 72 in. (101.6 x 182.9 cm).
Collection of the artist; courtesy Massimo Audiello, New York

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