In this year that started charged up with strong conflicting views and reactions, it should be an interesting time in American Art. For the seventy eight installment at the Whitney, the sixty-three artists and collectives presented thought provoking works in various medium to train their lens on race, economics and politics that is on a volatile cauldron – erupting like the constant lava flows of Hawaiian volcanoes. This is our America where questions and reactions level more to the surface. We are forced to confront, react and learn how what we see then process affects our deepest sensibilities to self then in relationship to our community. The climate is uncertain now in America but we have ART to be the defining force that galvanizes us together to reflect upon our humanity.
There are some highlights to this year’s survey as they are the most attention grabbing, works more on our curated view of contemporary art, and had a previous brush historically in ARTE FUSE. But we encourage all future visitors to the Whitney to see the breadth of works from this year’s Biennial.
Here is our quick snapshot of the Whitney Biennial 2017: Tommy Hartung we have seen him in a group show at On Stellar Rays. As always the arresting and biomorphic imagery is a slow burn standout. KAYA had a suspended raw installation that pulsated an urban vibe with a volatile current. Leigh Ledare produced witty images and her subjects colored it. Celeste Depuy Spencer added static verve to the everyday mundane like the youthful DJ browsing his decks. Jordan Wolfson with the swath of chains actually is a liberated nuance art piece. Matt Browning brought a simple minimalist story of the grid to the forefront which gives us a pause about boundaries we make or that need to be crossed. Raul de Nieves with the majesty of his sculpture amidst a stained glass background provided a reverent respite. Harold Mendez showed grace in his industrial material installation where its stark presence is a revelation.
As previously stated, all the works from the artists and collectives included in this year’s Biennial are to be seen and considered as one of the many notes that serenades the art viewer. We can only hope the symphony moves us to a better reflection of our uncertain times which we can hope for a better understanding then perhaps a positive pro-active resolution. Collectively that is our real power as Americans.
The 2017 Whitney Biennial
@ Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Ganseevort Street. NYC, NY 10014
On View: March 17 – June 11, 2017