White Columns

Looking Back / The 9th White Columns Annual - Selected by Cleopatra's

Participating artists include

Dennis Adams, Etel Adnan, Sam Anderson, Polly Apfelbaum, BFFA3AE, Sarah Charlesworth, Mike Cloud, Anne Doran, Koji Enokura, Peter Fend, Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Charles Gaines, Guy Goodwin, Sheila Hicks, Gordon Hall, Van Hanos, David Hartt, Stanya Kahn, Annette Kelm, Josh Kline, Justine Kurland, Maria Lassnig, Louise Lawler, Robert Longo, Jeanette Mundt, Sigmar Polke, Mira Schendel, Trevor Shimizu, Greg Parma Smith, Frances Stark, Keiichi Tanaami, Malick Sidibé, Lily van der Stokker, Orlando Tirado – FLEX, Alex Waterman, Carrie Mae Weems, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein.
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“Looking Back” is the ninth installment of the White Columns Annual. The exhibition is now a fixture on White Columns’ calendar. Each year, an individual or a collaborative team (e.g. an artist, a curator, a writer, etc.) is invited to make an exhibition at White Columns based on their personal experience of looking at art in New York in the previous year. For the ninth ‘Annual’ exhibition, White Columns has invited the New York-based collective Cleopatra’s (Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Colleen Grennan, Erin Somerville), to make the selection.
 
In a very straightforward sense, the ‘Annual’ exhibition hopes to reveal something of the complexities involved in trying to negotiate - and engage with - NewYork’s constantly shifting cultural landscape. The format of the exhibition inevitably encourages highly subjective and deeply personal responses to the realities of viewing art in New York. The ‘Annual’ exhibition series hopes to illuminate aspects of the specific, yet highly idiosyncratic  routes –geographical, intellectual, historical, social, etc. – that individuals follow in an increasingly expansive and fragmented cultural environment.
 
Through the re-contextualization of artworks encountered in other circumstances and contexts, the exhibition hopes to establish – albeit temporarily – a new ‘narrative’, a conversation, of sorts, amongst artists and artworks, that seeks to illuminate and/or explore certain underlying tendencies, conditions, or connections that perhaps might otherwise have remained elusive or obscured. In re-thinking the (fairly) recent past the exhibition hopes to provoke something akin to a sense of deja-vu, establishing a scenario that is at once both reflective and forward thinking.
 
There are no restrictions as to what type of work can be included. “Looking Back” seeks to eliminate any categorical or hierarchical distinctions we might place upon artworks (e.g. based upon the circumstances in which they were originally seen, or the seniority of an individual artist, etc.) These works might have been originally encountered in exhibitions at institutions, galleries, and not-for-profit spaces, or during visits to artists’ studios etc.
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Reviewing curator Bob Nickas’ ‘Annual’ in 2010 Holland Cotter wrote:
 
“One of the things that makes the White Columns annuals so valuable is that they often include artists … who are unlikely to find their way into mainstream institutions. A second, equally important function that “Looking Back” serves, or should serve, is to provide a view of contemporary art that is not entirely determined by art-industry consensus – meaning the market – but rather is seen through a single informed, idiosyncratic, even resistant sensibility.”
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Previous Selectors for the White Columns Annual
 
The inaugural ‘Annual’ exhibition in 2006 was selected by White Columns’ Director Matthew Higgs; the second in 2007 was selected by independent curator Clarissa Dalrymple; the third in 2008 was selected by curator and writer Jay Sanders; the fourth in 2009 was selected by Miriam Katzeff and James Hoff of Primary Information; the fifth in 2010 by curator and writer Bob Nickas; the sixth edition in 2011 was selected by the artists Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss; the seventh in 2012/13 was selected by Artists Space’ curator Richard Birkett; the eighth in 2013/14 was selected by independent curator Pati Hertling.
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About Cleopatra’s
 
Cleopatra's is a Brooklyn based exhibition space and curatorial collective founded in 2008. Current and founding members are Erin Somerville, Colleen Grennan, Bridget Finn, and Bridget Donahue.

Annual selection and research was compiled with the help of ARE.NA, a tool for building ideas. 
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For further information about the exhibition please contact the gallery on (212) 924 4212 or at info@whitecolumns.org.

Related Press

Looking Back / The 9th White Columns Annual - Selected by Cleopatra's - Artnet - January 15, 2015

Looking Back / The 9th White Columns Annual - Selected by Cleopatra's - Cura

Looking Back / The 9th White Columns Annual - Selected by Cleopatra's - New York Magazine - January 28th, 2015

Looking Back / The 9th White Columns Annual - Selected by Cleopatra's - The New York Times







Mike Cloud


Sigmar Polke