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Posted inArt

Jeff Koons: The Early Reviews

“There is something nightmarish about Jeff Koons,” Peter Schjeldahl began in his 2008 review of the artist’s retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago for the New Yorker. This verdict had long arrived — it has always seemed that the critical wagons were circled on the subject of Koons.

Posted inArt

Whitney Biennial 2014: Anthony Elms on the Second Floor

Whitney Biennial curator Anthony Elms took on the nebulous meaning of “American art” most directly in his selections, but the results don’t really say a lot about what it means to be American — at least not in a way that makes it distinct from Canadian, Australian, Argentinean, or some other national identity forged in the modern era by immigration, capitalism, environmental devastation, and a displacement of indigenous cultures.

Posted inArt

A Parisian Retrospective on Marcel Breuer’s Manhattan Vision

PARIS — “What should a museum look like, a museum in Manhattan?” architect Marcel Breuer asked in explaining his design for the Whitney Museum of American Art. “Surely it should work, it should fulfill its requirements, but what is its relationship to the New York landscape? What does it express, what is its architectural message?” An exhibition in Paris looks at the career of the architect as the Whitney prepares to move on from the building he designed.

Posted inArt

Unexpected Sounds of Protest

Sharon Hayes can be a difficult artist to like. Her work often centers around “speech acts,” which the wall text in her current exhibition at the Whitney defines as “when speech functions not only as communication but as action.” Just beyond that text is an example: a barren area containing only a black platform of steps, a poster and a speaker that blares out one of Hayes’s speeches. In other words, there’s not always much to look at.

Posted inOpinion

The Whitney’s Koons Retrospective Talks Money

Talk about art going big: the New York Times reported last night that the Whitney will mount an enormous Jeff Koons retrospective as its last hurrah in the Breuer building, before moving downtown in 2015. Probably out of necessity as much as for flair, the exhibition will take over the entire museum except for the fifth-floor permanent galleries — the first time the Whitney has given over that much space to one artist.

Posted inOpinion

Your Weekly Art Rx: Museum Fever!

Get out the syringe, it’s time for your shot of art for the week. We promise it won’t be painful. This week the medicine comes in the form of museum exhibitions both big and small, including Sherrie Levine’s retrospective at the Whitney, the much anticipated opening of the Met’s Islamic wing, and round-up of seminal art from the 1980s in Hudson Valley that’s worth the trip to upstate New York. We’re also prescribing two events that mix visual art and music, a combo that is sure to cure any illness.