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Whitney Biennial 2017 at Whitney Museum of American Art, March 17 – June 11, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eighth installmentof the longest running survey of American art, features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design. Established in 1932, the Biennial has long been a site for critical discussions about contemporary art, while providing an opportunity for deep thinking and reflection on the broader cultural concerns of a given historical moment. Bringing together mostly new or recent work by both emerging and established artists, the 2017 presentation continues this tradition.

This Biennial arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics, and many works in the exhibition challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. Throughout the exhibition, artists test the limits of timeworn structures and protocols, claim space for direct experience and personal agency, and create alternate zones or worlds. Some spotlight particular social issues, such as financial debt, violence, or access to equal opportunities, while others model imaginative ways of relating to history and place, or represent the importance of reverence for the land. Still others embolden the pleasures of slow contemplation or formal abstraction, inviting us to pause and pose questions in a tumultuous world.” — Introductory Wall Text

John Riepenhoff, Handler Installation, 2015

Installation view of Whitney Biennial 2017

Top: Frances Stark, Ian F. Svenonius’s “Censorship Now” for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Bottom: Jessi Reaves, Ottoman with Parked Chairs (detail), 2017

Frances Stark, Ian F. Svenonius’s “Censorship Now” for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Spread 5 of 8 (pp. 20-21) (their free speech monopoly), 2017

John Divola. Left: Abandoned Painting F, 2008. Right: Abandoned Painting G, 2008

John Divola, Abandoned Painting G, C, E, A

Installation view of Whitney Biennial 2017. Left: Dana Schutz, Elevator, 2017

Pope.L aka William Pope.L, Claim (Whitney Version), 2017

Torey Thronton. Front: What Is Sexuality, Is The Scale Infinite Similar To A Line, 2017. Back: Painting, 2017

Installation view of Whitney Biennial 2017

Raúl de Nieves, beginning & the end neither & the otherwise betwixt & between the end is the beginning & the end, 2016

Installation view of Whitney Biennial 2017

Installation view of Whitney Biennial 2017

Kaya, Serene, 2017

Kaari Upson Installation

Kaari Upson Installation

Kaari Upson Installation

An-My Lê. Left to right: April 17, Swamp, Venice, Louisiana, 2016; Film Set (“Free State of Jones”), Battle of Corinth, Bush, Louisiana, 2016; November 10, Workers, Venice Louisiana, 2016

An-My Lê. Left to right: Monument, General P.G.T. Beauregard, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2016; November 6, Sunday Mass, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2016; November 9, Graffiti, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2016

Celeste Dupuy-Spencer Installation. Right: Veterans Day, 2016

Celeste Dupuy-Spencer. Left to right: Closing Party (Hit the North), 2016; Pink Floyd (Ooooh aah), 2016; St. Tammany Parish, 2016

Deana Lawson Installation

Left: Deana Lawson, Ring Bearer, 2016. Right: Henry Taylor, THE TIMES THAY AINT A CHANGING, FAST ENOUGH!, 2017

Henry Taylor, Ancestors of Ghenghis Khan with Black Man on horse, 2015-2017

The 2017 Whitney Biennial was co-curated by Christopher Y. Lew, Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Mia Locks, who was Assistant Curator at MoMA PS1.

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