Whitney Museum Announces Recent Acquisitions, Including Works Acquired From 2019 Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced that it has acquired more than 250 works of art since last April. Among these acquisitions are 88 works by 40 artists who were featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

John Edmonds, Tête d’Homme, 2018. Archival inkjet print. Sheet (sight): 23 5/8 × 29 9/16in. (60 × 75.1 cm) © John Edmonds. Purchase, with funds from the Henry Nias Foundation

Other recent acquisitions include works by artists who are joining the collection for the first time, including Laura Aguilar, John Ahearn, Maria Berrio, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, ektor garcia, Ajay Kurian, Wendy Red Star, Wallace & Donahue, and others.

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator commented: “Through the Biennial and our emerging artist program, the Whitney is committed to adding new voices to our collection, but we’re also deepening our relationships with artists already represented in it, with acquisitions of works by, among others, Alex Da Corte, Simone Leigh, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Hank Willis Thomas. We are particularly proud that our recent gifts and purchases highlight the museum’s increased scholarship on and engagement with Latinx and Indigenous artists.”

We are thrilled to be making many important acquisitions from the 2019 Whitney Biennial and to be continuing our long-standing tradition of expanding the collection through this flagship exhibition,” noted Jane Panetta, Curator and Director of the Collection, who was also a co-curator of the 2019 Whitney Biennial. “Additionally, we are very excited to be acquiring work that will be part of our upcoming collection presentation, Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, featuring important examples by Shan Goshorn, Jordan Nassar and Elaine Reichek. In all instances, these new acquisitions point to the Whitney’s deep commitment to continuing to build an ambitious and inclusive collection and to the significant relationship between our exhibition program and the work we acquire.

Some highlights of works acquired from the Biennial include John Edmonds’s meticulously composed photographs which feature carefully choreographed subjects and settings to create portraits such as Tête d’Homme (2018) and The Villain (2018) that challenge the art historical canon while simultaneously interrogating and celebrating Black identity; Janiva Ellis’s canvas Uh Oh, Look Who Got Wet (2019) featuring a graphically rendered figure against the backdrop of a monumental landscape executed in brilliant colors with vivid attention to the materiality of paint; Kota Ezawa’s projected video animation National Anthem (2018) that utilizes repurposed footage of multiple NFL teams as the basis for small-scale watercolor paintings used to create this video depicting NFL players taking a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in protest of police violence against unarmed Black men; Daniel Lind-Ramos’s Maria-Maria (2019), an assembled sculpture made of found materials whose haloed form, blue robes, and title suggest the Virgin Mary but also reference Hurricane Maria, the devastating 2017 storm that struck Puerto Rico; Jennifer Packer’s monumental, lush painting A Lesson in Longing (2019) featuring her signature, gestural figures and adept use of color; and Carissa Rodriguez’s high-definition video The Maid (2018) that tracks Sherrie Levine’s Newborn sculptures (1993–94) over the course of a day through various collections in homes, galleries, and museums.

The Whitney’s collection includes nearly 25,000 works created by approximately 3,500 artists during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This focus on the contemporary, along with a deep respect for artists’ creative process and vision, has guided the Museum’s collecting ever since its founding in 1930. The collection begins with Ashcan School painting and follows the major movements of the twentieth century in America, with strengths in modernism and Social Realism, Precisionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Minimalism, Postminimalism, art centered on identity and politics that came to the fore in the 1980s and 1990s, and contemporary work.

(View and download PDFs of recent acquisitions.)

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, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday except in July and August. Adults: $25. Full-time students, visitors 65 & over, and visitors with disabilities: $18. 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 Museum Of Modern Art Announces The First Major Dorothea Lange Solo Exhibition At Moma In 50 Years

The Museum of Modern Art announces Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, the first major solo exhibition at the Museum of the photographer’s incisive work in over 50 years. On view from February 9 through May 2, 2020, in The Paul J. Sachs Galleries in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building,

Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures includes approximately 100 photographs drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition also uses archival materials such as correspondence, historical publications, and oral histories, as well as contemporary voices, to examine the ways in which words inflect our understanding of Lange’s pictures. These new perspectives and responses from artists, scholars, critics, and writers, including Julie Ault, Wendy Red Star, and Rebecca Solnit, provide fresh insight into Lange’s practice. Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures is organized by Sarah Meister, Curator, with River Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, assisted by Madeline Weisburg, Modern Women’s Fund Twelve-Month Intern, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.

Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. 1936. Gelatin silver print, 11 1/8 x 8 9/16″ (28.3 x 21.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

Toward the end of her life, Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) remarked, “All photographs—not only those that are so-called ‘documentary,’ and every photograph really is documentary and belongs in some place, has a place in history—can be fortified by words.”

Dorothea Lange. Tractored Out, Childress County, Texas. 1938. Gelatin silver print. 9 5/16 x 12 13/16″ (23.6 x 32.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

Organized loosely chronologically and spanning her career, the exhibition groups iconic works together with lesser known photographs and traces their varied relationships to words: from early criticism on Lange’s photographs to her photo-essays published in LIFE magazine, and from the landmark photobook An American Exodus to her examination of the US criminal justice system. The exhibition also includes groundbreaking photographs of the 1930s—including Migrant Mother (1936)—that inspired pivotal public awareness of the lives of sharecroppers, displaced families, and migrant workers during the Great Depression. Through her photography and her words, Lange urged photographers to reconnect with the world—a call reflective of her own ethos and working method, which coupled an attention to aesthetics with a central concern for humanity.

Dorothea Lange. The Defendant, Alameda County Courthouse, California. 1957. Gelatin silver print. 12 3/8 x 10 1/8″ (31.4 x 25.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase

It seems both timely and urgent that we renew our attention to Lange’s extraordinary achievements,” said Meister. “Her concern for less fortunate and often overlooked individuals, and her success in using photography (and words) to address these inequities, encourages each of us to reflect on our own civic responsibilities. It reminds me of the unique role that art—and in particular photography—can play in imagining a more just society.

The exhibition begins in 1933, when Lange, then a portrait photographer, first brought her camera outside into the streets of San Francisco. Lange’s increasing interest in the everyday experience of people she encountered eventually led her to work for government agencies, 2 supporting their objective to raise public awareness and to provide aid to struggling farmers and those devastated by the Great Depression. During this time, Lange photographed her subjects and kept notes that formed the backbone of government reports; these and other archival materials will be represented alongside corresponding photographs throughout the exhibition. Lange’s commitment to social justice and her faith in the power of photography remained constant throughout her life, even when her politics did not align with those who were paying for her work.

A central focus of the exhibition is An American Exodus, a 1939 collaboration between Lange and Paul Schuster Taylor, her husband and an agricultural economist. As an object and as an idea, An American Exodus highlights the voices of her subjects by pairing first-person quotations alongside their pictures. Later, Lange’s photographs continued to be useful in addressing marginalized histories and ongoing social concerns. Throughout her career as a photographer for the US Government and various popular magazines, Lange’s pictures were frequently syndicated and circulated outside of their original context. Lange’s photographs of the 1930s helped illustrate Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices (1941), and her 1950s photographs of a public defender were used to illustrate Minimizing Racism in Jury Trials (1969), a law handbook published after Black Panther Huey P. Newton’s first trial during a time of great racial strife.

This collection-based exhibition would not be possible had it not been for Lange’s deep creative ties to the Museum during her lifetime. MoMA’s collection of Lange photographs was built over many decades and remains one of the definitive collections of her work. Her relationship to MoMA’s Department of Photography dates to her inclusion in its inaugural exhibition, in 1940 which was curated by the department’s director, Edward Steichen. Lange is a rare artist in that both Steichen and his successor, John Szarkowski, held her in equally high esteem. More than a generation after her first retrospective, organized by Szarkowski at MoMA in 1966, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures uses both historical and contemporary words to encourage a more nuanced understanding of words and pictures in circulation.

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, capturing this renewed consideration of Lange’s work through the particular lens of its relationship to words. Contributors to the exhibition and the catalogue include artists and curators Julie Ault, Sam Contis (in collaboration with Tess Taylor), Sandy Phillips, Wendy Red Star, and Sally Mann; scholars and writers Kimberly Juanita Brown, Jennifer Greenhill, Christina Sharpe, Robert Slifkin, and Rebecca Solnit.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

Weber State University Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery To Host Art Exhibition, “We Are The People”

Exhibition to Feature Contemporary Work by Indigenous Native American Artists

Artist And Curator, Wendy Red Star To Bring Eight Distinguished Indigenous Artists To Northern Utah For Exhibition Exploring The Ideas Of “the Quality Of Being Indigenous”

The Weber State University Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities (www.weber.edu/cah) and the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery (www.weber.edu/shawgallery) today announced the opening of its latest art exhibition, “We Are The People,” which features work by a diverse group of contemporary indigenous artists from both the United States and Canada. The exhibition will be making its world debut at Weber State University with an opening reception at the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery on Friday, February 26, 2016 at 7 p.m. and will run through April 8, 2016. Wendy Red Star, a member of the Crow Indian Nation, has guest curated this exhibition.

Weber State University

Weber State University To Open Art Exhibit, “We Are the People” featuring John Feodorov, Collectible #8, 2008,” who is one of many artists exhibiting work. (PRNewsFoto/Weber State University)

Indigenous peoples are those groups protected in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, their cultural and historical distinctiveness from other populations. The legislation is based on the conclusion that certain indigenous people are vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states formed from colonizing populations or by politically dominant, different ethnic groups. Indigenous peoples of the American continent are broadly recognized as being those groups and their descendants who inhabited the region before the arrival of European colonizers and settlers.

A defining characteristic for an indigenous group is that it has preserved traditional ways of living, such as present or historical reliance upon subsistence-based production (based on pastoral, horticultural and/or hunting and gathering techniques), and a predominantly non-urbanized society. Not all indigenous groups share these characteristics. Indigenous societies may be either settled in a given locale/region or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.

Indigenous societies range from those who have been significantly exposed to the colonizing or expansionary activities of other societies (such as the Maya peoples of Mexico and Central America) through to those who as yet remain in comparative isolation from any external influence (such as the Sentinelese and Jarawa of the Andaman Islands). Contemporary distinct indigenous groups survive in populations ranging from only a few dozen to hundreds of thousands and more. Many indigenous populations have undergone a dramatic decline and even extinction, and remain threatened in many parts of the world. Some have also been assimilated by other populations or have undergone many other changes. In other cases, indigenous populations are undergoing a recovery or expansion in numbers.

We Are The People” brings together eight distinguished contemporary artists from indigenous backgrounds working in new media, video, photography, performance and sculpture. Each artist actively investigates and engages with the concepts of nationhood, indigenism, ritualism and land. Artist and curator Wendy Red Star has tasked each artist to experiment with ideas that surround indigenous people and nations using their own unique experiences and artistry. “We Are The People” will feature the work of the following artists:

  • Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Iroquois
  • Elisa Harkins, Cherokee
  • Tanis S’eiltin, Tlingit
  • Tanya Lukin Linklater, Kodiak
  • Duane Linklater, Moose Cree
  • John Feodorov, Navajo
  • Peter Morin, Tahltan
  • Raymond Boisjoly, Haida

This exhibition is an opportunity for Native American and First Nation artists to influence contemporary art discourse and challenge the misperceptions and preconceived notions surrounding art made by Indigenous people today,” said Lydia Gravis, director of Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery. “Utah audiences (and other visitors) will be given a valuable opportunity to explore their perceptions of contemporary indigenous culture through a variety of art experiences, including performance and new media.

I have assembled a select group of established and emerging contemporary native artists who collectively are changing and shaping pre-conceived notions about history, rituals and spiritualism,” said Red Star. “We each derive our heritage from indigenous tribes, but how we interpret and showcase our work is all very unique. Audiences will truly have an opportunity to be involved in the work in ways they never imagined and in turn I put the experience back into their hands to really consider how we are all interconnected.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. A panel discussion featuring several of the artists will take place on Thursday, February 25 at 6 p.m. at the Kimball Visual Arts Building. The opening reception will be February 26, 2016 at 7 p.m. “We Are The People” exhibition will run February 26 – April 8, 2016.