Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night

Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, 2005


The 2006 Whitney Biennial catalog is, on the one hand, a traditional group exhibition catalog that presents the work of 100 artists alongside 10 essays by the exhibition curators and invited critics. But it was also important that the book embody its own ephemerality as a document of a show that occurs every two years.

The design needed to respond to the curators’desire for artist participation in the book project, as well as address all the traditional needs of an exhibition catalog. Curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne invited each artist to submit an image for the book; and after many conversations, the project team conceived the design solution.

The book’s innovation is that it presents two fundamental book spaces simultaneously, each space having an entirely different scale, dynamic and content. The book is composed of 99 posters (the artist submissions), bound by glue-pad glue on one fold—thereby allowing the reader to remove one or all posters. The posters, when folded and bound, create a 398-page book form for the more traditional content of essays and plates. The resulting form adds complexity to a straightforward group-exhibition-catalog presentation.

Juror Notes

Flipping through the pages of this catalog, one sees text and artist biographies in a straightforward format. But then each two-page spread is its own signature, which cleverly unfolds to a photo of the artist’s work—a larger-than-life presentation in a compact-sized book.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2005
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Whitney Museum of American Art
Creative directors
Mary DelMonico, Rachel de W. Wixom, Conny Purtill
Conny Purtill
Jacket designer
Conny Purtill
Aaron Igler
Production coordinators
Mary DelMonico, Conny Purtill
Chrissie Iles, Philippe Vergne
Michelle Piranio
Trim size
6.5 x 8.75 inches
Quantity printed
Display font, American Dark Ages (by Conny Purtill), text font, Adobe Garamond
Shapco Printing, Inc.
Jacket printer
Shapco Printing, Inc.
Wausau Exact Ice, 60 lb. text
Binding method
Purtill Bound (by Conny Purtill)
Whitney Museum of American Art