Blowing Art-Theory Smoke

Although the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial exhibition, a show designed to cover the latest developments in contemporary art (on view in New York through May 28), isn't as internationally prestigious as the Venice Biennale or the once-every-five-years Documenta in Germany, it has become the most prominent brand-name product the Whitney offers. Hordes of young Brooklyn rebels, old-fogey painters in paint-splattered jeans, and black-clad art fashionistas stroll side by side through