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T+L Reports: American Splendor

It's time, once again, for the Oscars of the art world—New York's Whitney Biennial, known to spark occasional controversy and plenty of criticism. The prevailing complaint in 2002 was that the biennial lacked "star power." So for 2004, a trio of curators have corralled recognized talent from several generations of American art-making. Among the 108 artists represented are veteran British-born painter David Hockney; major eighties art player Robert Longo; and Elizabeth Peyton, famous for her swooning celebrity portraits. Yet the biennial also remains devoted to the au courant, so look for the edgy: psychedelic installations by the New York-based Assume Vivid Astro Focus; gothic steel-and-polystyrene sculptures by Banks Violette; and work by such up-and-comers as Barnaby Furnas, whose expressionistic battle scenes are rendered in violent Technicolor. Whitney Museum of American Art; March 11-May 30.
—Julie Caniglia

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