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2017 Whitney Biennial
17th March 2017 at 8:00 am - 11th June 2017 at 5:00 pm EDT$25
The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eighth installment of the longest-running survey of American art, arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives including two artists who utilize photography – Deana Lawson and An-My Lê.
Deana Lawson’s carefully staged photographs capture scenes of self-love, friendship, romance, familial connection, and desire. Her subjects often gaze directly at the viewer, boldly commanding the experience of being viewed. In doing so, Lawson’s images subvert the ways in which portrayals of Black bodies are often subject to biased perceptions of Black personhood in American culture. While her images are inspired by traditional family photo albums, Lawson’s works feature strangers, individuals she casts from the street for compositions of her own design.
And in a suite of photographs from her new project, The Silent General, An-My Lê examines allusions to the past in modern-day Louisiana. Taken as a group, the photographs propose that perhaps history never ends, that the raw materials of America’s bloodiest war—issues of race, class, labor, and wealth—are still deeply enmeshed in the landscape of the United States and the fabric of its society.