Since its introduction in 1932, the Whitney Biennial - the Museum's signature exhibition and a highly anticipated event in the art world - has charted new developments in contemporary art. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, these biennial exhibitions have demonstrated the museum's commitment to supporting the development of 20th- and 21st- century American art. "The 2012 Biennial" features works by approximately 50 artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, dance, and performance. Elisabeth Sussman (co-organizer of the successful, politically provocative 1993 Whitney Biennial) and Jay Sanders provide an insightful joint essay, and a group of art historians and critics contribute entries on common themes and ideas from the represented artists' techniques and influences. In addition, a significant portion of the catalogue is devoted to original contributions from each of the participating artists, in a unique effort to provide a more experiential understanding of the exhibition.