Hybrid Strategies in Art

The Whitney Biennial. NYC. June 2017

Dana Schutz

Dana Schutz

I was thrilled we were going to the city, New York City that is, to see Pat Metheny at the Beacon Theater and that I was going to be able to catch the Whitney Biennial on its last full weekend.  On a teacher schedule, my summer holiday always began a week after the show was to close. This was a double treat as the Biennial was beginning a new tradition in the new space in Chelsea

Held every two years a selected group of curators takes two years to determine current trends in art throughout the US.  Certainly, the New York/Brooklyn artists are always well represented and Los Angeles has been contributing more significant art with each new exhibition.  And the rest of the show is balanced by other art being made in the mid-west and with a smattering of art from the South.

A complete list of the artists in the show may be reviewed here: 

http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2017Biennial

Selections from the permanent collection Where We Are:  Selections from the Whitney’s collection1900-1960 opened in April 2017 and will be on display indefinitely.  To experience pivotal pieces defining 20th-century art juxtaposed to the art of our moment revealed both contrasts and a deeper awareness and understanding of new art.

The Biennial tends to really piss people off because traditional work is not acknowledged in this arena.  New is never easy and in this regard the show did not disappoint.

Before I post some of the selections that caught my attention and present them in contrast to earlier predecessors. 

Left:  Alexander Calder.                                          Right:  Kaya

Above:  Henry Koerner (1915-1991), Mirror of Life, 1946. Oil on composition board, 36 × 42in.

Below: Dana Schutz, Elevator, 2017. Oil on canvas, 144 x 180 in.

Left:  Gun Trigger.  Can not find artist.                         Right:  Jasper Johns. Three Flags, 1958.      

                                                                                            Encaustic on canvas, 30 7/8 × 45 1/2 × 5 in.

Not all, but some highlights of work from the Biennial.  

Dana Schutz, Elevator, 2017. Oil on canvas, 144 x 180 in. (365.8 x 457.2 cm). Collection of the artist; Petzel  Gallery, N.Y. and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.

Dana Schutz, Elevator, 2017. Oil on canvas, 144 x 180 in. (365.8 x 457.2 cm). Collection of the artist; Petzel  Gallery, N.Y. and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.

Please visit the Whitney website to dive deeper into more information about this years biennial exhibition.  http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2017Biennial