Whitney Biennial: Recession Art

Survey of American art world strikes a modest note
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 10:20 AM CST
The mixed-media installation "Untitled, 2006" by Charles Long is shown at the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum in New York on March 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Sara Rose)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – This weekend sees the opening in New York of the Whitney Biennial, the always controversial survey of contemporary American art. The theme this time around is lowered expectations, writes Holland Cutter for the New York Times, and the result is a modest, low-key, sparsely populated affair. "A biennial for a recession-bound time? That’s one impression it gives," writes Cotter.

With about 80 artists, this is one of the smallest exhibitions in years. The curators have chosen work that utilizes "down-market materials" such as plastic and plywood, as well as "all kinds of found and recycled ingredients, otherwise known as trash." Assemblage and collage are the standard media; fans of painting "will be on a near-starvation diet."