Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Cutting Against the Grain.

Byline: Morgan Lee Journal Staff Writer

SITE Santa Fe is taking a new approach for its fourth international biennial by putting an art critic in charge

Dave Hickey does not care much for biennials and the sterile professionalism that he says has taken over these factory-like, invitational exhibitions during the past 30 years.

"Today, such exhibitions are essentially trade shows for the curators of museums and Kunsthalles the world over," writes Hickey, a native Texan, a hot-rod enthusiast and freelance writer of fiction and cultural criticism who traces his understanding of art markets to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin.

In spite of this unromantic view of biennials and because of it Hickey is being trusted with between $700,000 and $800,000 to design the fourth international biennial at SITE Santa Fe, the contemporary art exhibition hall located in the City Different's downtown Railroad Yard.

"We agree that the format has become very stale," said Louis Grachos, a director and curator at SITE Santa Fe. Grachos was part of the six-person committee that selected Hickey. "He's not a part of the circuit that are continually asked to do exhibitions like this. …

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