The Whitney To Present Solo Exhibitions By Two Emerging Artists

Two New Exhibitions By Emerging Artists Will Be Presented By The Whitney This Summer.

Following close on the heels of the Biennial, The Whitney’s summer season builds on the strong energy of our emerging artists program,” remarked Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “Both born in 1990, Bunny Rogers and Willa Nasatir offer a pair of distinct but complementary visions. Each explores mysterious, often dark, narratives within stagey, lapidary tableaus, Rogers through sculpture and video, Nasatir in photography.

Bunny Rogers (b. 1990), Clone State Bookcase, 2014

Bunny Rogers (b. 1990), Clone State Bookcase, 2014 (detail). Maple wood, metal, limited-edition Elliott Smith plush dolls, “Ferdinand the Bull” third-place mourning ribbons, and casters, 97 × 121.5 × 24 in. (246 × 309 × 61 cm). Courtesy the artist and Société. Photograph by Uli Holz

BUNNY ROGERS

For her first solo museum exhibition, Rogers will create a new body of work to be installed in the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery on the Museum’s first floor, which is free and open to the public. The exhibition goes on view on July 7.

In her work, Bunny Rogers (b. 1990, Houston, TX) draws from a personal cosmology to explore shared experiences of loss, alienation, and a search for belonging. Her layered installations, videos, and sculptures begin with wide-ranging references, from young-adult fiction and early 2000s cartoons, like Clone High, to autobiographical events and spectacles of mass violence, such as the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Rogers’s techniques are as idiosyncratic as her subject matter. She borrows from theater costuming, design, and industrial furniture manufacturing, and often crafts her work by hand. This hybrid approach gives Rogers’s objects and spaces a distinct texture; they read simultaneously as slick and intimate, highly constructed, but also sincere.

Elisabeth Sherman, an assistant curator at the Whitney, who is co-curating the exhibition with curatorial assistant Margaret Kross, noted: “Rogers’s work reveals how certain emotions and traits that we consider to be completely opposite, like empathy and hate, sincerity and deceit, really exist in shades of grey. To paraphrase Rogers’s own words, the viewer may find that both extremes sit within themselves.

Rogers has had solo exhibitions at Greenspon Gallery, New York; Foundation de 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg, BE; Société, Berlin; and Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris. An artist book, Flowers for Orgonon, will be published in 2017. Continue reading

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Art News: Whitney Announces 2017 Biennial Film Program

A Broad Range Of Moving Image Artists To Be Shown In The 2017 Biennial’s Film Program

A series of film screenings and conversations will be presented as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art on March 17. The series takes place over ten consecutive weekends, from March 17 through May 21, 2017, in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater on the Museum’s third floor. Each Sunday, the 3 pm screening will be followed by a conversation with the filmmakers, joined by writers, curators, and scholars.

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Leslie Thornton (b. 1951) and James Richards (b. 1983), still from Crossing, 2016. High-definition video, color, sound; 19:10 min. Courtesy the artists

Film program co-curator and Biennial advisor Aily Nash notes: “At once radical and quiet, global and intimate, the works presented in the 2017 Whitney Biennial film program continue to reflect on the urgent themes seen in the exhibition. These artists are some of the most exciting voices working in moving image today. They engage the medium with formal rigor and innovation while exploring the subjective and affective experiences of the contemporary political and social moment. The broad range of artists spans generations and approaches to the moving image including documentary practice, experimental film, narrative cinema, and video installation.”

Featured artists are Basma Alsharif, Eric Baudelaire, Robert Beavers, Mary Helena Clark, Kevin Jerome Everson, Sky Hopinka, Dani Leventhal, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Cauleen Smith, Leslie Thornton and James Richards, Leilah Weinraub, and James N. Kienitz Wilkins. See a complete schedule at whitney.org.

The formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. The exhibition includes sixty-three participants, ranging from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.16_biennial_gif_web_2340px_fullstart_2340

With a history of exhibiting the most promising and influential artists and provoking debate, the Whitney Biennial—the Museum’s signature exhibition—is the longest running survey of contemporary art in the United States. The Biennial, an invitational show of work produced in the preceding two years, was introduced by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, and it is the longest continuous series of exhibitions in the country to survey recent developments in American art.

The 2017 Whitney Biennial will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue, designed by Olga Casellas Badillo of San Juan–based Tiguere Corp., which includes essays by the curators as well as Biennial advisors Negar Azimi and Gean Moreno, a conversation between the curators and Scott Rothkopf, and a roundtable with filmmakers moderated by Aily Nash. The book will also feature individual entries on each of the sixty-three participants in the exhibition along with reproductions of their work. It will be published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.The Whitney Logo

The 2017 Whitney Biennial is co-curated by Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks Continue reading

The Whitney To Present Mid-Career Survey Of The Work Of Laura Owens

In November 2017, the Whitney Museum of American Art will open the most comprehensive survey to-date of the work of Los Angeles–based painter Laura Owens (b. 1970), one of the foremost artists of her generation. Organized by Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, in close collaboration with the artist, this exhibition will be the first mid-career survey in the Whitney’s new downtown home. It will run from mid-November 2017 through early February 2018. Major support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation.

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Laura Owens, Untitled, 2014. Ink, silkscreen ink, vinyl paint, acrylic, oil, pastel, paper, wood, solvent transfers, stickers, handmade paper, thread, board, and glue on linen and polyester, five parts: 138 1/8 × 106 ½ x 2 5/8 in. (350.8 × 270.5 × 6.7 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Jonathan Sobel 2014.281a-e. © Laura Owens

For more than twenty years, Laura Owens has pioneered an innovative—and at times controversial—approach to painting that challenges traditional assumptions about the nature of figuration and abstraction, the relationships among avant-garde art, craft, and pop culture, and the interplay between painting and contemporary technologies. Owens emerged on the Los Angeles art scene shortly after completing her studies at the California Institute of the Arts in 1994, at a time when painting was viewed with suspicion by the academic establishment and many of her peers favored more conceptual approaches to art-making. Owens bucked this prevailing trend with a series of large-scale canvases marked by their grand ambition on the one hand, and their incorporation of humbler, low-key marks and subjects on the other, merging abstraction with goofy personal allusions, as well as materials that seemed more the province of craft stores than the fine arts. References to cartooning, doodling, and a high-pitch, sometimes pastel palette served as further irritants to ingrained painterly pieties.

Over the ensuing decade Owens established herself as a key voice pushing painting towards a new conception of site-specificity grounded in the social, poetic, and architectural conditions of a particular place. Early on, she demonstrated a keen interest in how paintings function in a given room and used trompe-l’oeil techniques to extend the plane of a wall or floor directly into the illusionistic space of her pictures. These canvases often featured paintings within paintings and sometimes paintings within those, creating an effect of Russian nesting dolls that confused the boundaries of actual and pictorial space, as well as reality and representation. Owens’s approach offered a highly original conception of how a portable painting might allude to its initial setting (and its siblings in a series) while nevertheless remaining distinct from it, unlike the in situ wall paintings of previous generations. These works demonstrate a self-conscious and reflexive relationship to the physical world they occupy, while opening, almost paradoxically, onto a lush space of reverie, conjecture, and play.

Owens’s interest in American folk art, historical tapestries, and other vernacular forms led her to fill her canvases with imagery and materials, such as felt appliqué and needlework, that were anathema to more serious discourses on painting and to some of her critical commentators. Yet this non-hierarchical and omnivorous approach to source material and technique allowed her to push painting forward and to engage broader social issues in surprising ways. In the aftermath of the United States’s call to war following the events of 9/11, Owens turned to almost childlike depictions of nineteenth-century American soldiers and medieval images of knights to address our increasingly bellicose national conversation. Her longstanding preoccupation with supposedly “feminine” colors and motifs from charming animals to infantile gestures, as well as her allusions to romantic love and motherhood (including the incorporation within her work of her own children’s drawings and stories) has led to a disruptive rethinking of feminism in art.

Over the past five years, Owens has charted a dramatic transformation in her work, marshaling all of her previous interests and talents within large-scale paintings that make virtuosic use of silkscreen, computer manipulation, digital printing, and material exploration. Wild blown-up brushstrokes push off finely printed appropriations from newspapers and other media sources; actual wheels or mechanical devices like clock hands spin across a painting’s surface; images shuttle between the physical and virtual worlds to arrive back on canvas magically transfigured by their journey. In a 2015 Berlin exhibition, Owens precisely positioned a group of five, large, freestanding paintings in a staggered row so that from a specific vantage the writing on their surfaces resolved into a unified image in the eye. The following year she created an installation at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco where paintings were embedded within walls covered in custom-printed wallpaper. Visitors were encouraged to interact with the installation by sending text messages to various numbers that triggered elliptical spoken replies broadcast by hidden speakers. Such bold experimentation with painting, sculpture, reference, and process have made Owens an important exemplar for younger generations of artists, many of whom cite her work as a key touchstone. Furthermore, she is a co-founder and programmer of 356 S. Mission Rd., a collaborative art gallery, bookstore, and event space that hosts regular exhibitions, readings, and screenings and has become a crucial gathering place and beacon for the Los Angeles art community and beyond. Continue reading

DAVID BRESLIN TO JOIN THE WHITNEY’S CURATORIAL DEPARTMENT

The Whitney Museum of American Art is pleased to announce that David Breslin is joining the Museum’s staff as Richard DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection. Currently the John R. Eckel, Jr. Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, Breslin will begin working at the Whitney in October.

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David Breslin To Join The Whitney’s Curatorial Department

Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: “David is that rare and remarkable combination of a scholarly curator and sensitive champion of living artists. In his leadership position at the Whitney, he will help steward our collection and shape its future by guiding acquisition strategy, along with the display and publication of our holdings. We are delighted that David will further the Museum’s mission as a forum for artists and the most innovative ideas around twentieth- and twenty-first-century American art.”

At the Menil Drawing Institute, Breslin created an ambitious program of exhibitions and public and scholarly events and helped to shape the design of the Institute’s stand-alone facility set to open next year. At the Menil, Breslin curated The Precarious (2015–2016), a focused look at works in the collection indebted to the collage tradition, and Harold Ancart: There Is No There There (2016). He also oversaw work on the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns set to be published in 2017 and grew the collection with acquisitions of works by artists including, among others, Trisha Brown, John Cage, Lee Mullican, Amy Sillman, Nancy Spero, Danh Vo, and Jack Whitten. Breslin currently serves as co-curator with Whitney curator David Kiehl of David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, an authoritative retrospective of the artist to be presented at the Whitney in 2018. Breslin and Kiehl are co-editing the accompanying catalog.

I’m thrilled to be joining the Whitney at such an exciting and important time, shortly after the first anniversary of the Museum’s move downtown,” said Breslin. “It is an honor to be able to work with this dynamic and growing collection and help convey the diverse histories and possibilities of American art. I look forward to working with the Whitney’s exceptional staff—and thoughtful audiences—to create exhibitions and programs that challenge conceptions, inform interpretations, and, hopefully, provide some joy.”

Prior to joining the Menil Collection, Breslin served as the associate director of the research and academic program and associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. As associate director, Breslin partnered with international museum and academic colleagues to create a conference, colloquium, and symposium program for the museum; he also oversaw the Clark’s residential fellowship program and taught in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Breslin co-edited Art History and Emergency: Crises in the Visual Arts and Humanities (Yale University Press, 2016), a volume that grew from a Clark Conference he organized with art historian Darby English.

In 2014, The Clark presented Breslin’s exhibition Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith. He also co-curated Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975. Most recently, Breslin worked on the Ellsworth Kelly-curated exhibition Monet | Kelly (seen at the Clark in 2015). In addition to curating exhibitions on El Anatsui and Juan Muñoz, among others, Breslin has edited numerous exhibition catalogues and authored essays on a range of artists including Paul Thek, Cady Noland, Valentin Carron, and Pablo Picasso.

Breslin earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College, a master’s in art history from Williams College, and a Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University. His doctoral dissertation, I WANT TO GO TO THE FUTURE: Jenny Holzer and the End of a Century, was informed by his experience working in Holzer’s studio, collaborating with the artist on many museum and gallery exhibitions—including Holzer’s 2009 exhibition at The Whitney—and organizing a diverse range of public projects. He was appointed to serve as an adviser in contemporary art initiatives at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, while pursuing his doctorate.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday. Adults: $22 in advance via whitney.org; $25 day of visit. Full-time students and visitors 65 & over: $17 in advance via whitney.org; $18 day of visit. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.

The Whitney Museum of American Art Commissions Virginia Overton To Create Site-Specific Installation

Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens opens June 10, 2016
The Whitney Logo

For the second commissioned project on the Museum’s fifth-floor outdoor gallery, the Whitney Museum of American Art has invited Virginia Overton to create a new site-specific installation. Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens, to be installed on the Whitney’s largest outdoor space and in adjacent galleries, will explore the concepts of the sculpture garden as a cultivated setting for contemplating artworks and the garden sculpture as a vernacular ornament adorning lawns and gardens. Situated not in a verdant landscape but on a concrete-paved rooftop, Overton’s sculptures themselves will take the form of aquatic gardens, forging dialogues between the High Line’s plantings and the Hudson River’s waters.

On the outdoor gallery, Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens will feature two towering, prefabricated windmills to harness the site’s abundant natural power and pump air through crisscrossing pneumatic tubes to multiple water features planted with aquatic gardens. Throughout the course of the summer, Overton’s installation will attract insect and avian visitors, varying with the weather to emphasize our tenuous and unpredictable hold on the natural world.

In the adjacent galleries, Overton will choreograph a sequence of encounters that highlight and disrupt the connection between the Whitney’s architecture and the outdoors. The Goergen Gallery will be wallpapered with a landscape, while a hovering sculpture will both accentuate and bar the artificial panorama. In the Kaufman Gallery, a group of abstract sculptures crafted from industrial and natural materials, some salvaged from the artist’s family farm and past projects, will be on display. Open views will be provided between the Kaufman Gallery and the outdoor gallery, revealing publicly for the first time the transparency inherent in Renzo Piano’s design of these spaces.

Throughout her career Virginia Overton (b. 1971, Nashville, TN) has used the languages of physicality, displacement, and minimalism in her sculptures, videos, photography, and installations. Overton creates exhibitions in response to the natural and manmade environments in which she works, often overlaying these sites with diverse references ranging from the history of modern art to her personal background in rural Tennessee. She has had recent solo shows at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland; and The Power Station, Dallas, TX.

Virginia Overton: Sculpture Gardens is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator and assistant curator Laura Phipps.

“Open Plan” Experimental Five-Part Exhibition At The Whitney

Beginning February 26 and running through May 14, 2016, the Whitney Museum of American Art will present Open Plan, an experimental five-part exhibition using the Museum’s dramatic fifth floor as a single open gallery, unobstructed by interior walls. The largest column-free museum exhibition space in New York, the Neil Bluhm Family Galleries measure 18,200 square feet and feature windows with striking views east into the city and west to the Hudson River, making for an expansive and inspiring canvas. Five artists have been invited to present solo projects in response to the space, lasting from a few days to just over two weeks. They include installation and performance artist Andrea Fraser; painter Lucy Dodd; sculptor and earth artist Michael Heizer; jazz composer and performer Cecil Taylor; and video- and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.The Whitney Logo

The Whitney’s fifth- floor gallery was conceived as an unparalleled exhibition space to inspire artists and curators, as well as our visitors, with its openness and flexibility,” remarks Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “To celebrate the end of our inaugural year downtown, we wanted to reveal this space for the first time in its entirety and give artists the opportunity to respond to the site with new projects or to display work from the collection that we couldn’t have previously shown. The featured artists span a broad range of ages, mediums, and approaches, and we’ve asked them to respond to the space with a light touch and without interior construction in order to lend Open Plan a lively and experimental spirit.”

The consecutive parts of the exhibition are scheduled as follows:

OPEN PLAN: ANDREA FRASER

FEB 26–MAR 13, 2016

Andrea Fraser’s (b. 1965) provocative work spans performance, institutional critique, video, and audience engagement. Open Plan: Andrea Fraser will present her site-specific project, Down the River, which uses audio recorded at a correctional facility to bridge the social, cultural, and geographic divide separating museums from correctional facilities. Since the mid-1970s, the United States has seen a parallel boom in museum and prison construction, with some states, such as New York, recently reversing this trend with prison closures. Fraser’s sound installation seeks to reflect on the parts we play in sustaining these disparate institutions.

Public seminars on Down the River occur daily on the third floor: Monday–Friday at 2 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm.

Open Plan: Andrea Fraser is organized by Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator Scott Rothkopf and assistant curator Laura Phipps.Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

OPEN PLAN: LUCY DODD

MAR 17–MAR 20, 2016

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981) turns the gallery into a site of artistic exploration and live action for her Open Plan presentation. Before the exhibition opens to the public, Dodd will create a new large-scale painting utilizing unusual materials like fermented walnuts, kombucha scoby, hematite, yerba mate, and pigments she has collected in her travels. The new painting will be surrounded by recently made shaped canvases that are intended to evoke sails or waves and respond to the gallery’s river views. By bringing her studio activities into the gallery and inviting musicians to perform, Dodd fosters what she calls “a space of ritual action and improvisation demanding a longer and broader engagement on the part of the audience.”

Open Plan: Lucy Dodd is organized by associate curator Christopher Y. Lew.96.137_heizerm.artist_preferred.v1_2340

Photo Credit: Michael Heizer (b. 1944), Actual Size: Munich Rotary, 1970. Six custom made aluminum projectors with steel stands and six black and white slides mounted between glass, Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Virginia Dwan 96.137. Photograph © Museum Associates/ LACMA, CA

OPEN PLAN: MICHAEL HEIZER

MAR 25–APR 10, 2016

Michael Heizer’s (b. 1944) large-scale earth works have redefined the parameters of sculpture. He will be represented at the Whitney by his 1970 installation, Actual Size: Munich Rotary, a full-scale photographic documentation of the horizon from inside an 18-foot-deep hole that Heizer dug in the earth in Munich, Germany. Comprised of six black-and-white glass slide projections, six custom-made steel projectors, and six steel pipes with wood platforms, this vast projected work re-images the depression as seen from its center. This is the first time this iconic work in the Whitney’s collection will be shown in New York.Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

OPEN PLAN: CECIL TAYLOR

APR 15–APR 24, 2016

Pianist Cecil Taylor (b. 1929) is one of America’s most innovative and uncompromising living musicians. A pioneer of free jazz whose work draws on a myriad of different musical styles conveyed through radical improvisation, he will take up residence in the fifth-floor gallery along with friends and fellow performers. This residency will feature a series of live performances amid a retrospective environment that will include documentation of Taylor’s career, including videos, audio, notational scores, photographs, poetry, and other ephemera.

Open Plan: Cecil Taylor is organized by curator and curator of performance Jay Sanders and Lawrence Kumpf, artistic director, ISSUE Project Room, with senior curatorial assistant Greta Hartenstein and Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow Lauren Rosati.Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

OPEN PLAN: STEVE MCQUEEN

APR 29–MAY 14, 2016

Steve McQueen (b. 1969) is a visual artist and filmmaker, whose films include Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. McQueen’s project for Open Plan will center on a newly expanded version of his work End Credits, which presents documents from the FBI file kept on the legendary African-American performer Paul Robeson.

Open Plan: Steve McQueen is organized by Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator Donna De Salvo, with curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell.

Major support for Open Plan is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Significant support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston and Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Generous support is provided by Diane and Adam E. Max. Additional support is provided by Joseph Rosenwald Varet and Esther Kim Varet, and the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Whitney Announces Two Upcoming Shows Featuring Emerging Artists

A pair of group exhibitions featuring the work of emerging artists will go on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the first half of 2016. These shows both examine off-kilter and stagey approaches to representation as a means of exploring pressing social issues. The first exhibition, Flatlands, highlights recent paintings that provoke a sense of reality as illusion or subjective construction. It will run from January 14 through April 17, 2016, in the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation Gallery on the first floor, which is free to the public. The second show, Mirror Cells, on view from May 13 to August 21, 2016, will present a single, surreal landscape of sculptures and installations in the eighth-floor Robert J. Hurst Galleries with works that allude to both an otherworldly environment and societal concerns.

Since its founding, the Whitney has been a pioneering advocate of young artists and a vital testing ground for new tendencies in art,” said Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “In our downtown home, we’re committed to reenergizing this important strand of our program, which we recently relaunched with the first American solo shows of Jared Madere and Rachel Rose, as well as our New Theater residency and billboard installation by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Flatlands and Mirror Cells will mark the museum debuts for several artists, and will be followed by the premiere of a video installation by Sophia Al-Maria in her first museum solo show in the country. These exhibitions demonstrate that we want to introduce not only new talents but new frameworks for thinking about contemporary art.

FLATLANDS, January 14–April 17, 2016

Featuring paintings by Nina Chanel Abney, Mathew Cerletty, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Caitlin Keogh, and Orion Martin, this exhibition highlights the unique ways these artists approach reality in their work. Through a range of techniques, styles, and subject matter, the paintings that will be on view conjure a sense of space that is reminiscent of the illusionistic scenery flats used on stage and movie sets. These artists fill their compositions with objects, bodies, and places that are based on reality, yet are distorted through exaggeration, recontextualization, simplification, or flattening. The individual works are imbued with both the anxiety and uncertainty of our sociopolitical moment as well as the seductive quality of consumerism and physical attraction. Flatlands is curated by Laura Phipps and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curators at the Whitney.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

NINA CHANEL ABNEY (b. 1982, Chicago, IL; lives and works in New Jersey) received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York. Abney recently had a solo show at Kravets-Wehby, New York. Abney is included in 30 Americans, organized by the Rubell Collection and currently at the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, New York. A solo survey show, organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, is forthcoming.

Mathew Cerletty, Shelf Life, 2015. Oil on canvas, 50 × 60 in. (127 × 152.4 cm). Courtesy the artist and Office Baroque, Brussels. Photograph by EPW Studio, New York

Mathew Cerletty, Shelf Life, 2015. Oil on canvas, 50 × 60 in. (127 × 152.4 cm). Courtesy the artist and Office Baroque, Brussels. Photograph by EPW Studio, New York

Mathew Cerletty, House, 2014. Oil on linen, 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm). Courtesy the artist and Office Baroque, Brussels. Photograph by EPW Studio, New York.

Mathew Cerletty, House, 2014. Oil on linen, 50 × 50 in. (127 × 127 cm). Courtesy the artist and Office Baroque, Brussels. Photograph by EPW Studio, New York.

MATHEW CERLETTY (b. 1980, Milwaukee, WI; lives and works in New York) received his BFA at Boston University and has had recent solo shows at Office Baroque, Brussels, and Blum and Poe, Los Angeles. He has been included in group shows at Anton Kern Gallery, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

Jamian Juliano-Villani, Stone Love, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30 × 24 in. (76 × 61 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin. Photograph by Gunter Lepowski

Jamian Juliano-Villani, Stone Love, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30 × 24 in. (76 × 61 cm).
Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin. Photograph by Gunter Lepowski

JAMIAN JULIANO-VILLANI (b. 1987, Newark, NJ; lives and works in New York) received her BFA from Rutgers University in New Jersey. This fall, Juliano-Villani was included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1 and Unorthodox at The Jewish Museum. She has had recent solo shows at Tanya Leighton, Berlin, and JTT, New York.

Caitlin Keogh, The Writer, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 104 × 78 in. (264.2 × 198.1 cm). Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York. Photograph by Adam Reich.

Caitlin Keogh, The Writer, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 104 × 78 in. (264.2 × 198.1 cm). Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York. Photograph by Adam Reich.

CAITLIN KEOGH (b. 1982, Spenard, AK; lives and works in New York) received her MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. Keogh recently had a solo show at Mary Boone Gallery, New York, and is included in a three-person exhibition currently on view at Koenig & Clinton.

Orion Martin (b. 1988, Danville, VA; lives and works in Los Angeles) received his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Martin recently had a solo show at Favorite Goods, Los Angeles, and has been included in group exhibitions at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, and Bodega, New York. His solo show at Bodega, New York, is forthcoming.

MIRROR CELLS, May 13–August 21, 2016

This exhibition brings together artists Liz Craft, Rochelle Goldberg, Elizabeth Jaeger, Maggie Lee, and Win McCarthy, who often conceive of interconnected works that suggest strange invented worlds. While each artist creates discrete objects, these works act in direct dialogue with one another—at times alluding to furniture or other functional items—in order to generate a broader context that extends beyond their individual physical forms. They often make use of humble materials such as wood, resin, and ceramic clay, putting a renewed emphasis on the act of making and materiality. The exhibition’s installation on the eighth floor will take on an otherworldly quality by using the galleries as a single, surreal landscape. Continue reading