Art professors’ work selected for Whitney Biennial

Artwork installation by Tony Tassett

Tony Tasset’s “Artists Monument.” Etched acrylic mounted on steel.

Two UIC faculty — a sculptor and a filmmaker/photographer — are among 103 artists selected nationally to exhibit in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the signature exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Work by Tony Tasset, professor of art, and Doug Ischar, associate professor of art, will be included in the New York exhibition opening Friday.

“We are thrilled to have two  provocative and beguiling artists who are faculty members in this important exhibition,” said Lisa Yun Lee, director of the School of Art & Art History in the College of Architecture, Design & the Arts.

Tasset, professor of art, describes his work for the biennial as “an 8x8x80- foot monument that’s engraved with the names of 400,000 artists in alphabetical order.”

The artists whose names are included have exhibited somewhere — anywhere — since the late 1990s.

The work will be installed in Hudson River Park in the Meatpacking District, near the site of the Whitney Museum’s new building scheduled to open next year.

Tasset is known for monumental works, including the three-story “Eyeball” that brought worldwide attention when it was installed in downtown Chicago’s Pritzker Park in 2010, and a 94-foot-high rainbow over Culver City, Calif. He has been a Guggenheim fellow and a UIC University Scholar.

Ischar will show three short films at the biennial: “Come lontano” (2009), “Alone With You” (2011) and “Tristes Tarzan” (2013).

Artwork by Doug Ischar

Doug Ischar will show three short films at the biennial.

Ischar works in documentary photography, installation and sound, exploring issues of masculinity and sexuality. He produced a well-known series of photos of gay sunbathers at Chicago’s Belmont Rocks beach during the 1980s.

Ischar has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museo de Arte Moderna in São Paulo, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

Anthony Elms, former assistant director of UIC’s Gallery 400, is one of the three outside curators of the exhibition.

“We made sure we weren’t all going down the same roads. Even within each other’s backyard, we have radically different interests as organizers,” Elms said.

The Whitney Biennial will be on view through May 25.


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