White Columns

Looking Back - The inaugural White Columns Annual, selected by Matthew Higgs

Participating artists: Fia Backström, Thomas Bayrle, Walead Beshty, Jeff Burton, Lucile Desamory, Graham Durward, Siobhan Liddell, Klara Liden, Ari Marcopoulos, David Moreno, Ree Morton, Matt Mullican, Stuart Sherman, Josef Strau.

‘Looking Back’ is the inaugural White Columns Annual. The exhibition will become an annual fixture on White Columns’ calendar. Each year an individual (e.g. an artist, a curator, a writer, etc.) will be invited to make an exhibition at White Columns based on their personal experience of looking at art in New York in the previous year. For the inaugural ‘Annual’ exhibition White Columns’ Director and Chief Curator Matthew Higgs has selected the artists and works.

In a very straightforward sense the exhibition hopes to reveal something of the complexities involved in trying to negotiate - and engage with - New York’s constantly evolving art communities. The format of the exhibition inevitably encourages highly subjective responses to the ‘impossibility’ of viewing art in New York. The exhibition series hopes to eventually illuminate aspects of the specific, yet idiosyncratic routes –physical, intellectual, social, emotional, etc. - individuals follow in an increasingly fragmented cultural milieu.

Through the re-contextualization of artworks previously encountered in other circumstances and contexts, the exhibition hopes to establish – albeit temporarily – a new ‘narrative’, a conversation – of sorts – amongst artworks, that seeks to illuminate and/or explore certain underlying tendencies, conditions, or connections, that perhaps might otherwise have remained elusive or obscured. In re-thinking the (fairly) recent past the exhibition hopes to provoke something akin to a sense of deja-vu, establishing a scenario that is at once both melancholic (reflective) and optimistic (forward thinking.)

With one exception – a work that is time specific, and is thus being shown in a more recent state - all of the selected works in the exhibition were either previously seen in New York galleries, or were personally encountered during studio visits in New York by Matthew Higgs in the past 12 months. Hopefully a publication will follow in early 2007 that will act as a coda to the exhibition, offering an opportunity for further reflection.

In late 2006 White Columns will appoint a selector for the 2007 White Columns Annual (scheduled for November/December 2007.) As the ‘Annual’ exhibition series evolves over the coming years White Columns hopes that each successive ‘Annual’ will substantially augment - and depart from - its predecessor, creating an ongoing and unfolding commentary about certain aspects of the art produced and/or exhibited in New York.

White Columns would like to thank all of the participating artists and their representatives for their enthusiastic response to ‘Looking Back.’

Related Press

Looking Back - The Inaugural White Columns Annual, Selected By Matthew Higgs - Artforum - October 2006

Looking Back - The Inaugural White Columns Annual, Selected By Matthew Higgs - The New York Times - December 1, 2006

Looking Back - The Inaugural White Columns Annual, Selected By Matthew Higgs - Your Gallery - November 24, 2006





Looking Back
Installation view