The Whitney Independent Study Program Opens Year-End Events

The Whitney Independent Study Program Opens Year-End Events
A view of the Kitchen's galleries

In 1969, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith became one of the first participants in the Whitney Museum of American Art's new Independent Study Program under director Ron Clark. She interviewed Donald Judd to write an essay on Minimalist art, and has since described the year as a major catalyzing force in her career: "[I]t was like having four years of college crammed into one semester: everything became perfectly clear," she once told the Brooklyn Rail. Since then, the program has educated Julian Schnabel, Kathryn Bigelow, Sarah Morris, Andrea Fraser, Jenny Holzer, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, and remains among the more influential arts educations in the country today.

Each year, graduating students from each of the program's three sections—critical studies, studio arts, and curatorial studies—hold a year-end event to showcase their work. Last night, Artspace visited "Maintenance Required" at The Kitchen, the final exhibition curated by Whitney ISP fellows Nina Horisaki-Christens, Andrea Neustein, Victoria Rogers, and Jason Waite.

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The exhibition's theme centers on the largely overlooked systems of maintenance—defined as broadly as public sanitation, personal hygiene, and data and object storage—that underpin society and organize much of its infrastructure. The show draws on work by artists Michael Bramwell, Goldin+Senneby, Ashley Hunt, Masaru Iwai, Yve Laris Cohen, Sam Lewitt, Park McArthur, Salvage Art Institute, Karin Sander, Taryn Simon, Pilvi Takala, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.

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For Test Subject A2 Fine (2010), Sam Lewitt coated a helicopter pilot's helmet with "test dust" manufactured to evaluate the efficacy of military equipment. 

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Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been the New York Department of Sanitation's "artist in residence"—a title that she alone has held—and has been organizing performances and events involving this underappreciated workforce ever since. On June 6, she will host local Chelsea "sanmen" for lunch at The Kitchen and invites the public to join for conversation (lunch will not be provided for non-NYSD employees).

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Japanese artist Masaru Iwai left behind this abstract puddle from the soap, shampoo, and detergent remains of his new performance Washing Stage.

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The nonprofit Salvage Art Institute reclaims damaged artworks that have been deemed a "total loss" by art insurers and makes them available for public viewing. According to this posting of the organization's policies, "SAI eschews the aesthetics and sensationalism of damage. Rather it is devoted to examining the structural implications of total loss across art's conceptual, material, legal, actuarial, and financial identities."

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The crowd at The Kitchen. Tonight, visit {Temp} from 5pm-8pm for the opening of Whitney ISP studio artists Ben Thorp Brown, Joao Enxuto, Ryan Garrett, Cassandra Guan, Adelita Husni-Bey, Caroline Key, Per-Oskar Leu, Erica Love, Sean Micka, Dawit L. Petros, Michael Poetschko, Monica Rodriguez, Jessica Vaughn, and Constantina Zavitsanos.

At right, see works by previous Whitney ISP graduates.


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