The 2014 Whitney Biennial includes an exceptional number of artists connected to California Institute of the Arts.
The Biennial is the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States today, and 15 of the 103 artists in the upcoming exhibition are associated with CalArts as alumni or faculty. The 77th Whitney Biennial opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75 Street, on March 7, and runs through May 25 2014.
Alumni artists in this year’s Biennial include:
Zackary Drucker (Fim/Video MFA 07) and Rhys Ernst (Film/Video MFA 11)
Victoria Fu (Art MFA 05)
Malik Gaines of the collective My Barbarian (Critical Studies MFA 99)
Work by the late Tony Greene (Art MFA 87) will be curated by artists Richard Hawkins and Catherine Opie (both Art MFA 88)
Channa Horwitz (Art BFA 72)
Doug Ischar (Art MFA 87)
Dashiel Manley (Art BFA 07)
John Mason (Chouinard 54)
Laura Owens (Art MFA 94)
Charlemagne Palestine (Music 71 )
Catherine Sullivan (Theater BFA 92)
Works by former faculty members Morgan Fisher, Jade Gordon (of My Barbarian) and the late Allan Sekula will also be included in the Biennial.
This year’s exhibition offers “one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years,” noted Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney.
The Calartians in the exhibition contribute to the wide ranging aesthetic vision. “I’ve grown to expect a significant CalArts presence in major national or international exhibitions of contemporary art, but the range of mediums and approaches is remarkable this year,” said Steven D. Lavine, President of CalArts. “It speaks to the ethos of creative exploration we seek to instill in our students. Each Calartian in this year’s Biennial offers a powerfully individual vision that resonates with the times we live in. Anyone who steps on campus will immediately understand why: faculty and students question, on a daily basis, what matters now in the arts and in the world.”
Since its inception, CalArts’ School of Art has actively promoted both the creative environment and the intellectual context for artistic experimentation. “It’s quite remarkable that a school as small as ours has had such an impact on the look of art made in America over the past four decades, and quite terrific to see a cross section of that contribution in this year’s Biennial,” said Thomas Lawson, Dean of the School of Art.
Artists from CalArts reflected a career-spanning spectrum in past Biennials. In 2102, Calartian representation ranged from recent graduate Laida Lertxundi (Film/Video MFA 07) to earlier alumni Richard Hawkins (Art MFA 88) and the late Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78), and current School of Film/Video faculty member Thom Andersen, who has taught at CalArts since 1987. In 2010, artist Martin Kersels, then a faculty member, served a dual role as artist and event curator. His 5 Songs sculpture doubled as a stage for a series of performance
Ranked America’s number one college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, CalArts is recognized for its commitment to creative thinking and risk-taking. The Institute is known for challenging artistic traditions and enabling young artists to learn from–but also to question–some of the world’s top practitioners. This artistic philosophy is shared among the artists featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
Still from the short film “She Gone Rogue” by Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst.