At a time when debate continues over what it means to be American, Where We Are proposes a framework of everyday relationships, institutions, and activities that form an individual's sense of self. The exhibition focuses on works from the Whitney’s collection made between 1900 and 1960, a tumultuous period in the history of the United States when life in the country changed drastically due to war, economic collapse, and demands for civil rights. Artists responded in complex and diverse ways, and the exhibition honors their efforts to put forward new ways of presenting the self and American life.
Where We Are is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, with Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator, and Margaret Kross, curatorial assistant.
An Incomplete History of Protest looks at how artists have approached protest by making art as a form of documentation, social criticism, agitprop, activism, teaching, institutional critique, and radical reimagining. The exhibition foregrounds themes—from questions of representation to the fight for civil rights—that still incite protest today, both at the Whitney and in the world.
An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney's Collection, 1940–2017 is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection; Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator; and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator; with David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus; and Margaret Kross, curatorial assistant
Too Much Future is a new work by Christine Sun Kim, and the seventh work to be presented as part of the ongoing series of public art installations located across the street from the Whitney and the High Line on the façade of 95 Horatio Street. Christine Sun Kim (b. 1980, California) often combines references to the body, musical notation, written language, and American Sign Language (ASL). Here, she pairs text with a rendering of the sign for the word “future” in ASL. As with her performance works, sculptural and video installations, and drawings and notational scores on paper, Too Much Future offers a reminder that visual or auditory perception of language does not necessarily result in easy comprehension.
This installation is organized by Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator.
This group exhibition features works by six emerging artists that address the inseparability of the natural and social worlds through a distinctly subjective or autobiographical lens. The artists included are: Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, London; lives and works in Los Angeles), Demian DinéYazhi ́ (b. 1983, Gallup, NM; lives and works in Portland, OR), Torkwase Dyson (b.1973, Chicago, IL; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Cy Gavin (b. 1985, Pittsburgh; lives and works in New York, NY), Lena Henke (b. 1982, Warburg, Germany; lives and works New York, NY), and Erin Jane Nelson (b. 1989, Neenah, WI; lives and works in Atlanta). Working in painting, sculpture, and video, these artists take environmental realities and histories of the land as a point of departure—from hydroelectric dam construction in Colombia and transatlantic underwater internet cables to Bermuda’s ecological and sociopolitical evolution—to create intuitive, sometimes fictional or fantastical narratives. In doing so, these works merge the mythical and the personal, collectively asserting the value of individual human experience while suggesting the limits of human reason.
The exhibition is organized by Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, and Margaret Kross, curatorial assistant.
In the early 1930s, Harold Edgerton (1903-1990) developed the stroboscope to photograph objects and events that move faster than the eye can perceive. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the Whitney’s collection, includes Edgerton’s single-and multiple-exposure photographs of household and industrial products, performances and sporting events, and staged scenarios like a bullet piercing a playing card. An electrical engineer and photographer, Edgerton combined technical insight and aesthetic sensibility to reveal the limits of sight.
This exhibition is organized by Carrie Springer, assistant curator.
Mary Corse’s first solo museum survey is a long overdue examination of this singular artist’s career. Initially trained as an abstract painter, Corse (b. 1945, Berkeley, CA) emerged in the mid-1960s as one of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space movement. She shared with her contemporaries a deep fascination with perception and with the possibility that light itself could serve as both a subject and material of art. Yet while others largely migrated away from painting into sculptural and environmental projects, Corse approached the question of light through painting. This focused exhibition highlights critical moments of experimentation as Corse engaged with tropes of modernist painting, from the monochrome to the grid, while charting her own course through studies in quantum physics and complex investigations into a range of “painting” materials, from fluorescent light and Plexiglas to metallic flakes, glass microspheres, and clay. The survey will bring together for the first time Corse’s key bodies of work—including her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and light encasements that she engineered in the mid-1960s, in her early twenties, as well as her breakthrough White Light Paintings, begun in 1968, and the Black Earth Series that she initiated after moving in 1970 from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon, where she lives and works today.
The exhibition is organized by Kim Conaty, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings and Prints. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring new scholarship and object studies that demonstrate how Corse’s groundbreaking approach to light, perception, and subjectivity forged a new language of painting.
Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay gives center stage to contemporary art practices that highlight indigenous thinking around the built environment. The three Quechuan words—the indigenous language most spoken in the Americas—pacha (time, space, nature, world), llacta (place, country, community), and wasichay (to build) each point to a decolonial approach of preserving and foregrounding indigenous concepts that transcend the English term architecture. Rather than upholding Western modernist architecture as a marker of development in the Americas, the artworks in this exhibition explore the conceptual legacies inherited from, and also still alive in, indigenous groups that include the Inca, Quechua, Maya, and Arawak, among others. Artists such as william cordova (b. 1971 in Lima, Peru; lives Lima, Miami, and New York), Jorge González (b. 1981 in San Juan, Puerto Rico; lives San Juan), Ronny Quevedo (b. 1981 Guayaquil, Ecuador; lives New York), and Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973 in Porto Alegre, Brazil; lives Los Angeles) investigate the complex relationship that indigenous and vernacular notions of construction, land, space, and cosmology have had in the history of modern and contemporary art and architecture in the Americas.
This exhibition is organized by Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator, with Alana Hernandez, curatorial project assistant.
This exhibition will be the first major, monographic presentation of the work of David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) in over a decade. Wojnarowicz came to prominence in the East Village art world of the 1980s, actively embracing all media and forging an expansive range of work both fiercely political and highly personal. Although largely self-taught, he worked as an artist and writer to meld a sophisticated combination of found and discarded materials with an uncanny understanding of literary influences. First displayed in raw storefront galleries, his work achieved national prominence at the same moment that the AIDS epidemic was cutting down a generation of artists, himself included. This presentation will draw upon recently-available scholarly resources and the Whitney’s extensive holdings of Wojnarowicz’s work.
David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake At Night is co-curated by David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus, and David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection.
Programmed focuses on video and computational art from the 1950s until today. Taken from the Whitney's collection, the show brings together key works and projects that have never been shown before, highlighting the breadth of the collection and providing new perspectives on it. The exhibition links two strands of artistic exploration that are related in their use of a “program”: one section explores programming as instructions and algorithms from a more conceptual perspective; the other engages with the TV program, its apparatus, and signal or the instruction-based manipulation of image sequences. In different ways, all of the artworks in the exhibition refer to their condition of being programmed. Together they illustrate the evolution of today's image world, from the idea of “the machine that makes the art” to broadcasting systems and a visual and cultural landscape driven by algorithms. Programmed explores both the potentially infinite aspects of image-making and its limits.
This exhibition is organized by Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of Digital Art, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Melva Bucksbaum Associate Director for Conservation and Research, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant.
Kevin Beasley engages with the legacy of the American South through a new installation that centers on a cotton gin motor from Maplesville, Alabama. In operation from 1940 to 1973, the motor powered the gins that separated cotton seeds from fiber. Here, the New York-based artist uses it to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument, creating space for visual and aural contemplation. Through the use of customized microphones, soundproofing, and audio hardware, the installation divorces the physical motor from the noises it produces, enabling visitors to experience sight and sound as distinct. As an immersive experience, the work serves as a meditation on history, land, race, and labor. This is Beasley’s first solo exhibition at a New York museum, and his most ambitious work to date. Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, VA), who works in a range of mediums including sculpture, installation, and performance, was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1, and Fore (2012) at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The Hammer Museum presented a solo exhibition of Beasley’s work in 2017 and he will be the subject of another one person show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston next year.
This exhibition is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.
Few American artists are as ever-present and instantly recognizable as Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Uniting all aspects, media, and periods of Warhol’s career, this exhibition will provide an historic opportunity to better comprehend the work of the most American of artists. The presentation will illuminate the breadth and depth of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and '70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. Building on the wealth of new research and materials that have come to light since the artist’s untimely death, this exhibition reveals new complexities about the Warhol we think we know, and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century.
The exhibition tours to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in spring 2019, and to the Art Institute of Chicago in fall 2019.
The exhibition is organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, with Christie Mitchell, curatorial assistant, and Mark Loiacono, curatorial research associate.