Art

Here Are the 63 Artists In This Year’s Whitney Biennial


Originally slated to take place last spring but postponed by the pandemic, the Whitney Biennial today announced the list of artists for its 2022 edition. The contemporary art exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, will open on April 6 and run through September 5, with some parts of the show on display until October 23.

Titled Quiet as It’s Kept and curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, both senior curators at the museum, the biennial will feature works by 63 artists, including Nayland Blake, Raven Chacon, Coco Fusco, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. A complete list of artists is appended below.

The show’s title is a reference to a saying that has been used in contexts as diverse as novelist Toni Morrison’s writing, jazz drummer Max Roach’s music, and an exhibition curated by artist David Hammons. It evokes secrecy, a concept perhaps most obviously manifest in the spatial layout of one floor of the show, which will be arranged as a “dark labyrinth, a space of containment,” a press release revealed. The other floor of the biennial directly above it will serve as a “counterpoint” to the maze, more reminiscent of a “clearing, open and light-filled.”

Curators Breslin and Edwards suggest an additional interpretation of the theme. While planning began almost a year before the 2020 election, its yearlong delay meant that between the global pandemic and agitation for racial justice, more than the usual share of events have taken place in the intervening time.

“While many of these underlying conditions are not new, their overlapping, intensity, and sheer ubiquity created a context in which past, present, and future folded into one another,” they wrote in a statement. “The works that will be presented reflect [artists’] enigmas, the things that perplex them, the important questions they are asking.”

In past editions, the Whitney Biennial has sometimes become a party to the political conversation that it seeks in part to reflect on. In 2019, artist Michael Rakowitz withdrew from that year’s show, citing Whitney Museum former vice chairman Warren Kanders’s ownership of a company manufacturing tear gas and body armor. Protests against Kanders and the institution began in November 2018, when more than 100 museum staffers signed a letter asking the museum to respond to a Hyperallergic report linking Kanders to the use of tear at the US-Mexico border. Months of demonstrations at the Whitney ensued, and eight artists subsequently withdrew from the exhibition, successfully pressuring Kanders to resign from the board by July.

The Whitney Biennial has also historically been a flashpoint for debates surrounding representation; in 2017, protesters called for the removal of Dana Schutz’s painting “Open Casket” depicting the mutilated body of Emmett Till, a Black 14-year-old brutally murdered by two white men in 1955.

The curators tout this year’s cohort as “intergenerational” and “interdisciplinary,” though the New York Times points out that it skews older, with only 23 artists under the age of 40. Below is the list of artists participating this year.

  • Lisa Alvarado
  • Harold Ancart
  • Mónica Arreola
  • Emily Barker
  • Yto Barrada
  • Rebecca Belmore
  • Jonathan Berger
  • Nayland Blake
  • Cassandra Press
  • Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
  • Raven Chacon
  • Leidy Churchman
  • Tony Cokes
  • Jacky Connolly
  • Matt Connors
  • Alex Da Corte
  • Aria Dean
  • Danielle Dean
  • Jane Dickson
  • Buck Ellison
  • Alia Farid
  • Coco Fusco
  • Ellen Gallagher
  • A Gathering of the Tribes /Steve Cannon
  • Cy Gavin
  • Adam Gordon
  • Renée Green
  • Pao Houa Her
  • EJ Hill
  • Alfredo Jaar
  • Rindon Johnson
  • Ivy Kwan Arce and Julie Tolentino
  • Ralph Lemon
  • Duane Linklater
  • James Little
  • Rick Lowe
  • Daniel Joseph Martinez
  • Dave McKenzie
  • Rodney McMillian
  • Na Mira
  • Alejandro “Luperca” Morales
  • Moved by the Motion
  • Terence Nance
  • Woody De Othello
  • Adam Pendleton
  • N.H. Pritchard
  • Lucy Raven
  • Charles Ray
  • Jason Rhoades
  • Andrew Roberts
  • Guadalupe Rosales
  • Veronica Ryan
  • Rose Salane
  • Michael E. Smith
  • Sable Elyse Smith
  • Awilda Sterling-Duprey
  • Rayyane Tabet
  • Denyse Thomasos
  • Trinh T. Minh-ha
  • Wang Shui
  • Eric Wesley
  • Dyani White Hawk
  • Kandis Williams



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