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.

NICK MAUSS: My name’s Nick Mauss.

What you see first are two doors and a Marsden Hartley painting.

The doors next to this painting lead into an antechamber made of velvet and appliquéd cotton, which looks like it’s been painted, like it’s an enlarged sketch. And that space is sort of—it’s meant as a passageway, but it’s this incredibly elaborate, tiny space, with no real function except to sort of transition from one space to another space. It also feels like a kind of void to me. It’s a remake of a room that existed in Paris that was commissioned in the thirties. The rest of the building in which this room exists was very minimal, and kind of stark. And to have this really opulent, small velvet room in there, I think, must have been pretty spectacular.

NARRATOR: The room, which Mauss has re-created here, was originally in the Guerlain perfume company’s headquarters in Paris. The room was designed by Christian Bérard, a fashion illustrator, set designer, and painter. Mauss has hung an Andy Warhol work in the room itself. Nearby, you can see works by Ellsworth Kelly, Gary Winogrand, and Charles Demuth, which Mauss has also incorporated into his installation. In addition, he’s built special freestanding frames for two drawings.

NICK MAUSS: The two drawings by Eyre De Lanux are two-sided, and they sort of stand in the space on pedestals in frames almost as if they were people who have also wandered through this room, or somehow relate to the room. The drawings are combinations of pictures and text, so they have this sort of rebus quality. It becomes very clear that they are love letters, that they’re motivated by yearning.

There’s also a reverse projection just on the left of the room, which is very small and intense and almost has a feeling of a slow pulse or something.

NARRATOR: To hear more about this installation, please tap the screen.


Nick Mauss (b. 1977), _Material Studies_, 2008-11 (detail). Digital photographs, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galerie Neu, Berlin