Two UIC artists selected for Whitney Biennial

Artwork installation by Tony Tassett

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

A sculptor and a filmmaker/photographer at the University of Illinois at Chicago are among 103 artists selected nationally to exhibit in the 77th Whitney Biennial, the signature exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, opening March 7.

“We are thrilled to have two  provocative and beguiling artists who are faculty members in this important exhibition. And one of the co-curators, Anthony Elms, started his career as the assistant director of Gallery 400, UIC’s cutting-edge contemporary art space,” said Lisa Yun Lee, director of the UIC School of Art & Art History.

Tony 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.” All are artists who 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 was a 2006 Guggenheim fellow and a 2007 UIC University Scholar.

Artwork by Doug Ischar

Still from “Alone with You” by Doug Ischar.

Doug Ischar, associate professor of art, will show three short films at the biennial: “Come lontano” (2009), “Alone With You” (2011), and “Tristes Tarzan” (2013).  Ischar also 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. He 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.

The Whitney Biennial will be on view through May 25.

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