Professor of Fine Arts Sharon Hayes and alum Carolyn Lazard (MFA'19) are among the artists to be exhibited in Whitney Biennial 2024:Even Better Than the Real Thing. The roster of 71 participating artists and collectives was announced on January 25.
One of the most anticipated exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, the Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art, having been initiated by the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, in 1931.
Hayes’ work is concerned with developing new representational strategies that examine and interrogate the present political moment as a moment that reaches simultaneously backward and forward; a present moment that is never wholly its own but rather one that is full of multiple past moments and the speculations of multiple futures. From this ground, Hayes often addresses political events or movements from the 1960s through the 1990s. In addition to the Whitney, Hayes has had solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Her work been shown at the Venice Biennale; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum; and numerous museums and venues in Europe and the Americas.
Self-identified as living with multiple autoimmune diseases, Lazard uses video, sculpture, text, and performance to explore issues of care and dependency. The artist first came to prominence in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Their exhibited work, Extended Stay, featured a bench and wall-mounted monitor tuned to cable television, establishing a connection between the experience of museum visitors and hospital patients. Lazard’s first US solo exhibition, Long Take, was on view at the ICA at Penn from March 10 to July 9, 2023, following its presentation by the Walker Art Center.
"It is striking how many artists are contending with relationships between the psyche and the body, and the precarity of the past few years," said Whitney curators Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli in the museum's announcement. "Artists are continuing to grapple with history and identity."
Whitney Biennial 2024 will be on view from March 20.