DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt


Picks of the Whitney

Filed under: Reviews: Art Exhibitions — Tags: , , , — fred @ 15:28

SN35, Sumi ink on paper, by Roland Flexner

This year’s Whitney Biennial exhibition is a disparate collection of contemporary work.  I appreciate the lack of any discernible curatorial agenda, as the individual works then have a chance to stand for themselves rather than representing some theme imposed by a curator.  I found much of the work in the show, to put it kindly, uninspiring, especially almost a whole floor of bland, hackneyed video projection pieces, but there’s also a lot of great work to see.  Here are four artists whose work I found particularly engaging.

Roland Flexner shows a wall of small abstract dream landscapes (such as the example pictured above) made by a sumi ink marbling technique manipulated by handwork and blowing.

Aurel Schmidt has a magical life-size drawing of a bison-man, his body constructed out of cigarette butts, beer cans, flowers, stars, flies, worms, and other elements, all rendered with exquisite detail and texture.

Storm Tharp shows several big, haunting mixed-media portraits, the faces made with a perfectly calibrated bleeding ink-wash technique.

Dawn Clements has a wall-sized panoramic ballpoint pen drawing derived from a lush, moody interior seen in a 1945 movie.

The 2010 Whitney Biennial features fifty-five artists selected by curator Francesco Bonami and associate curator Gary Carrion-Murayari.  It’s on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York through May 30, 2010.

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