Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 at Whitney Museum of American Art, November 22, 2019 – January, 2021

“Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft, beginning with works made after World War II when many artists embraced fiber arts and ceramics to challenge the dominance of traditional painting and sculpture. Over the next seven decades, artists have continued to explore techniques such as weaving, sewing, or pottery, and experimented with textiles, thread, clay, and beads, among other mediums. These works speak to artists’ interests in domesticity, hobbyist materials, the decorative, vernacular American traditions, ‘women’s work,’ and feminist and queer aesthetics. By employing marginalized modes of artistic production, they challenge the power structures that determine artistic value.

Drawn primarily from the Whitney’s collection, the exhibition will encompass over eighty works by more than sixty artists, including Ruth Asawa, Eva Hesse, Mike Kelley, Liza Lou, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine Reichek, and Lenore Tawney, as well as featuring new acquisitions by Shan Goshorn, Kahlil Robert Irving, Simone Leigh, Jordan Nassar, and Erin Jane Nelson.” — Whitney Museum of American Art

Photographs by Corrado Serra.


Ree Morton, Signs of Love, 1976


Installation view


Alan Shields, J + K, 1972


Eva Hesse, No title, 1969-70


Installation view


Right: Kahlil Robert Irving, 100’s, 2018. Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Portals, 2016


Installation view


Center: Betty Woodman, Still Life #11, 1990


Left: Robert Arneson, Whistling in the Dark, 1976

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 is organized by Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.