It's no secret that art fairs and biennials generally favor (like most institutions) white men, but with only 38 women and 9 black people out of 103 participating artists, this year's Whitney Biennial is more than lacking in diversity. Curator and artist Christine Finley decided to create her own fair in response to the poor representation of female artists on the Whitney Museum's roster. And so, The Whitney Houston Biennale was born.
Open for one night only on March 9 in Brooklyn, The Whitney Houston Biennale is an all-female show, including 75 artists working in a variety of mediums, disciplines, and genres. The list of exhibitors includes big players like Swoon and Guerrilla Girls, as well as lesser-known artists.
"Women are often under-represented by the business and institutions of the art world," artist Mickalene Thomas told The Huffington Post. "The Whitney Houston Biennial serves as an important platform with which to explore the richness and diversity of contemporary female artists. Through its witty and intelligent programming, the event is a worthy counterweight to the multitude of festivals, biennials and fairs that populate the art calendar. This is fresh, necessary and trans-formative discourse—of which I am happy to support."
Whether you're upset by the lack of female artists in this year's Whitney Biennial, or, like Jerry Saltz, you think Kanye's "Bound 2" video should've made it into the exhibition, the Whitney Houston Biennial is the feminist alternative to your blockbuster art show.
The Whitney Houston Biennale is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 9 at 20 Jay Street, Suite 207 in DUMBO, Brooklyn.