Whitney Biennial 2012

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide allows visitors to hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2012 Whitney Biennial exhibition.

Jutta Koether (b. 1958), _(Drawings for All) The Seasons_, 2011 (detail). Ten ink drawings on vellum, 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm) each. Collection of the artist. © Jutta Koether; courtesy the artist

NARRATOR: Please take a moment to focus on Spring. You’ll notice wild, broken serpentine lines encircling the central couple—a kind of garland. Additionally, steeply zig-zagging lines move over the canvas, cutting across the couple’s faces and running over their heads. These elements are most evident in Spring, but they’re present in the other paintings too.

JUTTA KOETHER: It’s almost like the turmoil or the exuberance or the sort of nonstop activity of something. It’s a décor, it doesn’t mean much, and yet it holds everything together. And I juxtaposed those renderings of these garlands which, in some cases, they are really torn, also sort of as a symbol for our times. In a way the garlands are broken; the seasons all blend, or they start ripping up. And I juxtaposed it with these charts, which are these economical indexes from ups and downs of the markets. And each one it is sort of, let’s say, a different up and down or descent or destabilizing.

The decision to put them on glass has really something to do with my own sort of interest in let’s say, deliberately exposing or destabilizing the notion of painting.

It seems no matter how the markets go up and down, painting as a thing is a currency. And I wanted to sort of get it off the walls, and have it exposed in all its fragility. So people are able to see the backs, to see the whole thing as this sort of strangely vulnerable object.