Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Writing on the responses to the current Whitney Biennial, AFC's Paddy Johnson gives a nod to the series of exhibitions---Dice Thrown, Aspects, Forms & Figures, and In Defense of Ardor---I curated at Bellwether last year:

The question Lacayo and many others have on their lips is whether the unofficial Biennial theme of “lessness” amounts to much in the end. Not that this is necessarily the case of nay sayers, but I’ll admit that if the only thing I’d seen taking this approach was The New Museum’s Unmonumental and The Whitney’s Biennial, I’d probably have a fairly grim outlook on the prospects for art. Certainly these shows have given me pause, neither effectively displaying the work or necessarily even finding the best of it. By contrast, New York’s commercial galleries have been more successful this year launching unmonumental-esque shows. While the large size of the Biennial undoubtedly makes the job a little more difficult, Bellwether’s brilliantly organized three part exhibition series curated by Becky Smith and Joao Ribas could be no better testament to the success seen within the commercial world, as was Gagosian’s Beneath the Underdog, curated by artists Nate Lowman and Adam McEwen last spring. Notably New York Times critic Holland Cotter named this show one of the best gallery shows of the year. (Read more)