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Whitney Biennial 2019: A Snapshot of Contemporary Art in the United States

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Whitney Biennial 2019
May 17–Sep 22, 2019

 

If you’re interested in finding out what’s happening in art today then Whitney Biennial 2019 is a good place to start. 

In 1932, this museum was founded by the artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and the Biennial is the longest-running survey of American art.

This year features about 75 artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance and of course sound.

Whitney Biennial 2019

Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley made about 300 studio visits around the country before selecting 75 artists and collectives. 

For me, the Whitney Biennial is an opportunity to question or challenge everything I think I know. I’m not here to debate. I’m here to look, listen and learn.

Hold on, can I make a suggestion? Always take the audio tour. It might just unlock somethings you didn’t see in the work you’re looking at or it might give you some additional info that you didn’t even know.

I’m not even going to try to speak to your experience when you visit but the art that I saw today had me captivated, some of it raised a few questions and I’ll definitely left with a lot to ponder.

But isn’t that the point?

You’ll just have to see it for yourself, the 2019 edition of the Whitney Biennial will run from May 17th to through September 22nd. 

 

Curatorial Statement
By Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley

 

Often described as a snapshot of art in the United States, the Biennial brings together work by individuals and collectives in a broad array of mediums. Over the past year and a half—an undeniably intense and polarized time in this country—we made hundreds of studio visits. While we often encountered heightened emotions, they were directed toward thoughtful and productive experimentation, the re-envisioning of self and society, and political and aesthetic strategies for survival. Although much of the work presented here is steeped in sociopolitical concerns, the cumulative effect is open-ended and hopeful.

Rujeko Hockley (left) and Jane Panetta (right). Photograph by Scott Rudd.

Rujeko Hockley (left) and Jane Panetta (right). Photograph by Scott Rudd.

Key issues and approaches emerge across the exhibition: the mining of history as a means to reimagine the present or future; a profound consideration of race, gender, and equity; and explorations of the vulnerability of the body. Concerns for community appear in the content and social engagement of the work and also in the ways that the artists navigate the world. Many of the artists included emphasize the physicality of their materials, whether in sculptures assembled out of found objects, heavily worked paintings, or painstakingly detailed drawings. An emphasis on the artist’s hand suggests a rejection of the digital and the related slick, packaged presentation of the self in favor of more individualized and idiosyncratic work.

While we were organizing this exhibition, broader debates in the public sphere surfaced at the Museum, which itself became the site and subject of protest, as it has been throughout its history. Fundamental to the Whitney’s identity is its openness to dialogue, and the conversations that have occurred here and across the country became a productive lens through which to synthesize our own looking, thinking, and self-questioning.

The 2019 Whitney Biennial is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator, with Ramsay Kolber, curatorial project assistant.

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Full Artist List

  • Eddie Arroyo / Born 1976 in Miami, FL / Lives in Miami
  • Korakrit Arunanondchai / Born 1986 in Bangkok, Thailand / Lives in New York, NY and Bangkok, Thailand
  • Olga Balema / Born 1984 in Lviv, Ukraine / Lives in New York, NY
  • Morgan Bassichis / Born 1983 in Newton, MA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Blitz Bazawule / Born 1982 in Accra, Ghana / Lives in New York, NY
  • Alexandra Bell / Born 1983 in Chicago, IL / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Brian Belott / Born 1973 in East Orange, NJ / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Meriem Bennani / Born 1988 in Rabat, Morocco / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Robert Bittenbender / Born 1987 in Washington, DC / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Lucas Blalock / Born 1978 in Asheville, NC / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Garrett Bradley / Born 1986 in New York, NY / Lives in New Orleans, LA
  • Milano Chow / Born 1987 in Los Angeles, CA / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Colectivo Los Ingrávidos / Founded 2011 in Tehuacán, Mexico
  • Thirza Cuthand / Born 1978 in Regina, Saskatchewan / Lives in Toronto, Ontario
  • John Edmonds / Born 1989 in Washington, DC / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Nicole Eisenman / Born 1965 in Verdun, France / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Janiva Ellis / Born 1987 in Oakland, CA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA
  • Kota Ezawa / Born 1969 in Cologne, West Germany / Lives in Oakland, CA
  • Brendan Fernandes / Born 1979 in Nairobi, Kenya / Lives in Chicago, IL
  • FIERCE and Paper Tiger Televiesion / FIERCE founded in 2000 in New York, NY / Paper Tiger Founded 1981 in New York, NY
  • Marcus Fischer / Born 1977 in Torrance, CA / Lives in Portland, OR
  • Forensic Architecture / Founded 2010 in London, United Kingdom
  • Ellie Ga / Born 1976 in New York, NY / Lives in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Nicolas Galanin / Born 1979 in Stika, AK / Lives in Sitka, AK
  • Sofia Gallisá Muriente / Born 1986 in San Juan, PR / Lives in San Juan, PR
  • Jeffrey Gibson / Born 1972 in Colorado Springs, CO / Lives in Germantown, NY
  • Todd Gray / Born 1954 in Los Angeles, CA / Lives in Los Angeles, CA and Akwidaa, Ghana
  • Sam Green / Born 1966 in Detroit, MI / Lives in New York, NY
  • Barbara Hammer / Born 1939 in Los Angeles, CA / Lives in New York, NY
  • Ilana Harris-Babou / Born 1991 in Brooklyn, NY / Lives in Williamstown, MA and Brooklyn, NY
  • Matthew Angelo Harrison / Born 1989 in Detroit, MI / Lives in Detroit, MI
  • Curran Hatleberg / Born 1982 in Washington, DC / Lives in Baltimore, MD
  • Madeline Hollander / Born 1986 in Los Angeles, CA / Lives in New York, NY
  • Iman Issa / Born in Cairo, Egypt / Lives in Berlin, Germany and New York, NY
  • Tomashi Jackson / Born 1980 in Houston, TX / Lives in New York, NY and Cambridge, MA
  • Steffani Jemison / Born 1981 in Berkeley, CA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys
  • Adam Khalil: Born 1988 in Nyack, NY / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Zack Khalil: Born 1991 in Newton, MA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Jackson Polys: Born 1976 in Ketchikan, AK / Lives in New York, NY
  • Christine Sun Kim / Born 1980 in Orange County, CA / Lives in Berlin, Germany
  • Josh Kline / Born 1979 in Philadelphia, PA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Autumn Knight / Born 1980 in Houston, TX / Lives in New York, NY
  • Carolyn Lazard / Born 1987 in Upland, CA / Lives in Philadelphia, PA
  • Maia Ruth Lee / Born 1983 in Busan, South Korea / Lives in New York, NY
  • Simone Leigh / Born 1967 in Chicago, IL / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Daniel Lind-Ramos / Born 1953 in Loiza, PR / Lives in Loiza, PR
  • James Luna / Born 1950 in Orange, CA / Died 2018
  • Eric N. Mack / Born 1987 in Columbia, MD / Lives in New York, NY
  • Calvin Marcus / Born 1988 in San Francisco, CA / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Tiona Nekkia McClodden / Born 1981 in Blytheville, AR / Lives in Philadelphia, PA
  • Troy Michie / Born 1985 in El Paso, TX / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Joe Minter / Born 1943 in Birmingham, Al / Lives in Birmingham, AL
  • Keegan Monaghan / Born 1986 in Evanston, IL / Lives in Montreal, Quebec
  • Caroline Monnet / Born 1985 in Ottawa, Ontario / Lives in Montreal, Quebec
  • Darius Clark Monroe / Born 1980 in Houston, TX / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Ragen Moss / Born 1978 in New York, NY / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Sahra Motalebi / Born 1979 in Birmingham, AL / Lives in New York, NY and Delaware County, NY
  • Marlon Mullen / Born 1963 in Richmond, CA / Lives in Rodeo, CA
  • Jeannette Mundt / Born 1982 in Princeton, NJ / Lives in Somerset, NJ
  • Wangechi Mutu / Born 1972 in Nairobi, Kenya / Lives in Brooklyn, NY and Nairobi, Kenya
  • Las Nietas de Nono (Lydela Nono and Michel Nono) / Established 2011 / Born 1979 and 1982 respectively in San Juan, PR / Both live in Carolina, PR
  • Jenn Nkiru / Born 1987 in London, UK / Lives in London, UK
  • Laura Ortman / Born 1973 in Whiteriver, AZ / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Jennifer Packer /Born 1984 in Philadelphia, PA / Lives in New York, NY
  • Nibia pastrana Santiago / Born 1987 in Caguas, PR / Lives in San Juan, PR
  • Elle Perez / Born 1989 in the Bronx, NY / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Pat Phillips / Born 1987 in Lakenheath, UK / Lives in Pineville, LA
  • Gala Porras-Kim / Born 1984 in Bogota, Columbia / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Walter Price / Born 1989 in Macon, GA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Carissa Rodriguez / Born 1970 in New York, NY / Lives in New York, NY
  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya / Born 1982 in San Bernardino, CA / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Heji Shin / Born 1983 in Seoul, South Korea / Lives in New York, NY
  • Diane Simpson / Born 1935 in Joliet, IL / Lives in Wilmette, IL
  • Martine Syms / Born 1988 in Los Angeles, CA / Lives in Los Angeles, CA
  • Kyle Thurman / Born 1986 in West Chester, PA / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Mariana Valencia / Born 1984 in Chicago, IL / Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Agustina Woodgate / Born 1981 in Buenos Aires, Argentina / Lives in Miami, FL and Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

 

Whitney Biennial 2019

Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

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