Whitney Biennial 1985

Mar 13–June 9, 1985

The Whitney Biennial 1985 was curated by Richard Armstrong, John G. Hanhardt, Barbara Haskell, Richard Marshall, Lisa Phillips, and Patterson Sims.

View the full exhibition catalogue at the Internet Archive.

In the News

“. . . the show has been very well installed. The good things (and some of them are very good indeed) take their place in a major museum by right. No imaginable visitor could like everything that is on view, but then this is not that kind of show. It is a representative show, not a quality show, though attempts have been made to get the best available examples of whatever has been chosen.” —The New York Times

“For most of the artists in this exhibition, especially the painters, there seems to have been a need to handle their chosen medium with a high degree of irony, as though they could not quite believe in it.” —The Burlington Magazine

“The Biennial’s commitment to the new is reflected in its increasing attention to the experimental art forms of independent film and video.” —The New York Times

“Wowingly Manhattanesque—fashionable, fast and sometimes naughty-naughty—it is just the right exhibit for the out-of-town customer. Its flashy art may not survive two years out there in the market. See it while you can.” —The Washington Post

“The exhibition brings together paintings and drawings by seven, very different artists who are not out to paint what they see but rather to accommodate the American tradition of landscape painting to the demands of the present.” —The New York Times

“Some of the most innovative works of art in the current Whitney Museum Biennial exhibition aren’t to be found under the spotlights of Frank Lloyd Wright’s bright and spacious galleries, but in the dark of the second-floor film and video theater.” —The New York Times

More from this series

Learn more about the Whitney Biennial, the longest-running survey of American art.