It was a powder keg of a year in visual art, with strong, politically inflected, deeply personal, and wildly inventive exhibitions that touched on the classics, courted controversy, and yielded new favorites.
2017 Whitney Biennial
The Multifarious Feminism of the Whitney Biennial
Through its feminist contributions, the exhibition offers a window onto some of our most pressing cultural concerns, as well as our shortcomings.
Occupy Museums Hosts a Faux Graduation Ceremony at the Whitney Museum
Last Friday, Occupy Museums held a “counter-commencement” at the Whitney Museum of American Art that called attention to student debt and “speculative investment in art and culture.”
Artist Collective Postcommodity on Recovering Knowledge and Making Border Metaphors
With work on view in three current exhibitions, the members of Postcommodity discuss their desire to “mediate complexity.”
Three Lessons from Artists’ Protests of the Whitney Museum in the 1960s–70s
Activist efforts targeting the Whitney Museum of American Art across the 1960s and ’70s provide a starting point to consider the ways in which activists today can effect meaningful changes.
The Possibilities and Failures of the Racial Imagination
Three writers consider the controversy surrounding Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till and the Whitney Museum’s public response to it.
Surveying Landscapes for Clues to Political Violence
Two films made almost 50 years apart use silent shots of landscapes to examine the conditions that drove two young people to criminality.
A Syllabus for Making Work About Race as a White Artist in America
This course offers a starting point: assignments for the white artist to understand their own racial position.
Controversial Dana Schutz Painting Removed from Whitney Biennial Due to Water Leak [UPDATED]
Due to a “mechanical issue,” Schutz’s controversial painting and works by Maya Stovall and Julien Nguyen have been temporarily deinstalled.
The Whitney Biennial Reminds Us America Is Not Post-Race
A slow reading of Ajay Kurian’s work is influenced by a desire to view, parse, and converse with more work by artists of color, and is one of many strategies needed to challenge a dominant, incomplete idea of “American” art.
Censorship, Not the Painting, Must Go: On Dana Schutz’s Image of Emmett Till
Presuming that calls for censorship and destruction constitute a legitimate response to perceived injustice leads us down a very dark path.
Whoopi Weighs in on Emmett Till Painting as Schutz Storm Reaches Daytime TV
The debate over “Open Casket,” Dana Schutz’s painting in the Whitney Biennial, was a topic of heated discussion last week during an episode of The View.