Whitney Biennial Opens to Packed Preview

The Whitney Biennial officially opened its doors this afternoon with a bustling press preview attended by artists, curators, and other art world illuminati. Opening remarks from director Adam D. Weinberg, Chief Curator Donna De Salvo, and the show’s three curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner, all reflected on the fact that this would be the very last Biennial to take place in the Breuer building before the Whitney decamps downtown.

“This is the 77th in an ongoing series of annual biennials that began in 1932 just after the Whitney Museum opened its doors,” said Weinberg in remarks to the press. “Over the years, the biennial has become an essential element of the Whitney’s identity and it’s key to understanding the Whitney’s identity. Each biennial reaffirms the Whitney’s primary mission of placing artists at the center and offering in full faith the energy and structure and support of the entire museum.”

Notable guests in attendance included curating couple Cecilia Alemani and Massimiliano Gioni, critic Jerry Saltz, MOCA North Miami interim director and chief curator Alex Gartenfeld, Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg, San Fransciso-based gallerist Jessica Silverman, and Biennial artists Sergei Tcherepnin and artist Lisa Anne Auerbach, among others.

A big knot of literary-minded journalists flocked to David Foster Wallace’s notebooks on the Michelle Grabner-curated 4th floor. One list, labeled “Good Names,” begins:
1 Bondurant Tom Bondurant
2 Nugent Brian Nugent
3 Drinion Shane Julie (and Ken, in pencil)
Iguana named Homer
On the Stuart Comer-curated third floor, Lisa Anne Auerbach’s knitwear and fiber art pieces looked like just the thing from Spring 2014.

Look for more ARTINFO coverage of the Biennial to be published later this week.

— Ashton Cooper (ashton_cooper) and Sarah Hanson

(Photo: Ashton Cooper (top), Sarah Hanson)