Whitney Biennial 2010 and Collecting Biennials: An Optimistic Year

By Peggy Cyphers

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Suzan Frecon

The 2010 Whitney Biennial, which opened last week, was a surprisingly optimistic exhibition, partially due to the choices of the two curators, Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari, but also to its pairing with the concurrent exhibition Collecting Biennials on the top floor of the museum. There were surprising parallels between the contemporary attitude of 2010's fully loaded first four floors with the more cerebral weight of plum choices (mainly by male artists) from the museum holdings of works from past Biennials.

There is a theory that when the economy is down, the art world bears more evidence of the works of women artists. In 2010, over 50% of the exhibiting artists are women, some showing strong work with great maturity.

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