The Whitney Museum is currently presenting the eightieth edition of its flagship exhibition, the Whitney Biennial: 2022, titled Quiet as It’s Kept, which is on view from April 6 until September 5, 2022. Established in 1932 by the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, it is the longest-running exhibition of its kind. Featuring sixty-three artists and collectives from a variety of generations, working across disciplines and media, the 2022 Biennial takes full advantage of the Museum’s unique architecture to present an exhibition that takes a look at the current state of contemporary art in America. A constellation of the most relevant art and ideas of our time, the 2022 Whitney Biennial is co-organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, with Mia Matthias, Curatorial Assistant, Gabriel Almeida Baroja, Curatorial Project Assistant, and Margaret Kross, former Senior Curatorial Assistant.
“Since the start of the pandemic, time has expanded, contracted, been suspended, and blurred-often in dizzying succession. We began planning this Biennial in late 2019: before Covid and its reeling effects, before the uprisings demanding racial justice, before the widespread questioning of institutions and their structures, before the 2020 presidential election… We organized this Biennial to reflect these precarious and improvised times.” – The Whitney Museum
The title of the Biennial, Quiet as It’s Kept, is a colloquialism that is typically said prior to something– sometimes obvious– that should be kept secret. Curators Breslin and Edwards were inspired by the ways novelist Toni Morrison, jazz drummer Max Roach, and artist David Hammons have invoked it in their works.
Paintings, sculptures, performances, videos, and film are interspersed throughout the galleries on the fifth and sixth floors of the museum, rather than being separated into different programs. Intergenerational and interdisciplinary, ARTnews noted that, among the sixty-three artists in the Biennial, just 37% of them are forty years old or younger, a departure from previous Biennials which trended towards including emerging artists.
The artists included in the Biennial investigate the ongoing racial and economic inequalities and polarizing politics in America, considering how these realities affect ideas of identity and community. Many of the artists face the pandemic and its consequences through their work. The definition of what constitutes “American” is explored, with the inclusion of artists from border cities in Mexico, First Nations artists in Canada, as well as other artists born outside of North America. Curator David Breslin described this year’s curatorial approach to the Biennial as “thinking with history, but making it radically new for the moment.”
Artist featured in the Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet As It’s Kept include Lisa Alvarado, Harold Ancart, Mónica Arreaola, Emily Barker, Yto Barrada, Rebecca Belmore, Jonathan Berger, Nayland Blake, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Raven Chacon, Leidy Churchman, Jacky Connolly, Matt Connors, Alex Da Corte, Danielle Dean, Jane Dickson, Buck Ellison, Aria Dean, Tony Cokes, 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, Eric Wesley, Dyani White Hawk, and Kandis Williams.
The Whitney Biennial 2022: “Quiet as It’s Kept” is presented by Tiffany & CO, as well as generous support by Judy Hart Angelo; The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, Elaine Graham Weitzen, The Rosenkranz Foundation and the Whitney’s National Committee amongst many others. Major support is provided by The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Public hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10:30 am–6 pm; Friday, 10:30 am–10 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am–6 pm. Closed Tuesday. Member-only hours are: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30–11 am.
For more information on the artists featured click here.