New York Magazine

Diverse, Solid, and a Little Safe

The Whitney Biennial looks a lot like today’s New York City. That’s mostly good.
Forensic Architecture, Triple-Chaser (2019).



FIRST, MASSIVE congratulations to the Whitney. Even with long, flat patches of overly well-behaved work, a strange visual monotony that makes this show predictable, generally weak painting, and collage and assemblage far too beholden to Robert Rauschenberg, this Biennial has as many as 15 standouts—which, judging by past versions, is a lot! Breakthroughs abound. Over half of the 75 participants are women, and over half are artists of color. Amen. Skeptics and cynics who say these demographics are achieved by good little humanist curators checking boxes to show how woke they are will be thrilled to learn what has always been obvious: Having an exhibition reflect the world this way makes it better.

The show is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from New York Magazine

New York Magazine1 min read
Jul 25
The temperature in Champagne, 109.2˚ Fahrenheit, is the highest ever recorded there. TO PRODUCE GOOD CHAMPAGNE, acid is key. The warm summers and cold winters of Champagne’s northerly continental climate have long been the perfect location to grow g
New York Magazine1 min read
Tokyo Fiancée
HERE WE HAVE a slim and wicked love story written by a slim and wicked Belgian woman. Hubba-hubba. The author, Amélie Nothomb, writes in French and spent part of her childhood as the daughter of a diplomat in Japan, where this novel takes place. Most
New York Magazine2 min read
Still Here
Gerald DeCock has lived in his defiantly bohemian studio at the Chelsea Hotel for 25 years.