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Looking Back/ The 10th White Columns Annual

Selected by Matthew Higgs


January 12th, 2016 - February 20th, 2016


Participating artists include:

Justin Adian, Yevgeniya Baras, Kevin Beasley, Susan Cianciolo, Vaginal Davis, Rainer Ganahl, John Giorno, Bill Jenkins, Christopher Knowles, Sadie Laska, Ray Lopez, Birdie Lusch, Alice Mackler, Jackie McAllister, Dave McKenzie, Mieko Meguro, Marlon Mullen, Ruth Root, Zoe Pettijohn Schade, Peter Schlesinger, William Scott, Nancy Shaver, David Shrigley, Alan Vega, Alyson Vega.

White Columns is pleased to announce “Looking Back”, the tenth installment of the White Columns Annual. For the past decade the exhibition has been a fixture on White Columns’ calendar. Each year, an individual or a collaborative team (e.g. an artist, a curator, a writer, etc.) is invited to organize an exhibition based on their personal experiences with art in N
ew York during the previous year. For the tenth ‘Annual’ exhibition – coinciding with his tenth year as White Columns’ Director - Matthew Higgs has made this year’s selection. (Higgs also selected the inaugural Annual in 2006.)

In a very straightforward way, the ‘Annual’ exhibitions hope to reveal something of the complexities involved in trying to negotiate - and engage with – New York’s constantly shifting cultural landscape. The format of the exhibition inevitably encourages highly subjective and personal responses to the realities of viewing art in New York. The ‘Annual’ exhibition series hopes to illuminate aspects of the specific, yet highly idiosyncratic networks – historical, social, aesthetic, etc. – that individuals follow in an expansive and increasingly fragmented cultural environment.

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

There are no restrictions as to what type of work can be included. The “Annual” exhibitions seek to eliminate any categorical or hierarchical distinctions we might place upon artworks (e.g. based upon the circumstances in which they were originally seen, or the seniority of an individual artist, etc.) The works included in the exhibition might have originally been encountered in exhibitions at galleries, not-for-profit spaces, or during visits to artists’ studios, etc.


White Columns Gallery

320 West 13th Street

New York, New York



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