A Gay Ol' Tour of the 2014 Whitney Biennial


By John Hutt

From Gary Indiana to Bjarne Melgaard, our guy takes a stroll through the last exhibit to take place at the museum's Upper East Side location

The Whitney Museum of American Art opened its 77th Biennial this month. It also happens to be the last survey of American art that will take place in its historic, landmarked Breuer building on East 75th Street. While the Whitney isn't closing, just relocating to New York City's Meatpacking District alongside the High Line Park in a brand new space designed by Renzo Piano, this Biennial does seem to carry an added weight and importance. The idea ties all the 103 artists and curators together is a sense of immediacy and history.

To have an exhibit of this scope, size, and renown be a collaborative effort of multiple curators is expected by now. What is unexpected is how the Whitney chose to do so this time: Michelle Grabner, Anthony Elms, and Stuart Comer have each been given a floor of their own to design and curate. The result is a department store of an exhibition; the viewer travels from floor to floor seeing entirely different aesthetics and designs. The best way to approach the curatorial trifecta is to take the stairs—up, then down—and allow the exhibition to flow.

It's not impossible to go over each work in detail, but there are certainly highlights that should not be missed.

Photo credits: John Hutt