All the bad things you heard about the 2012 Whitney Biennial, which closes June 10, are too true. For some time now the Biennial has been a favorite piñata of conservative critics who’ve bristled at the introduction of Lowbrow art and other populist trends. This 76th biennial, however, annoyed a number of reviewers across the spectrum. Huffed the Village Voice:
Composed of arty ephemera, light musings on decades-old conceptual processes, and bogus curatorial gestures that conflate sculpture with performance and installation with music—the mind boggles at the notion of turning over most of the museum’s fourth floor to genre-mixing “free collage,” i.e., choreographer Sarah Michelson’s noodling at preview time—the 2012 biennial promulgates a dark sensibility as an artistic foil to America’s Tim Tebow culture.
Part of the reason some New Yorkers were riled up was the show’s corporate provenance: It was bankrolled by Sotheby’s and Deutsche Bank,