Whitney Biennial 2019 is a don’t-miss spectacle of wit and weight

Whitney Biennial 2019 is a don't-miss spectacle of wit and weight

How current is the art work at this 12 months’s Whitney Biennial?

“People were still thinking about their work up until the weekend,” says Jane Panetta, who, with co-curator Rujeko Hockley, put collectively one of the liveliest reveals ever.

It’s completely the one one with an S&M ballet, whose half-dozen black-clad dancers undulate in opposition to ropes and a jungle gymnasium; a room full of clocks; a assortment of water-filled dioramas; and what seems to be like like a kimono pinned with anti-de Blasio buttons.

Politics, id, the fragility of every the human physique and the Earth itself — each factor is on the desk proper right here, and on the partitions, and typically dangling from the ceiling.

But what makes this current a unusual pleasure is how even the weightiest factors are tackled in novel and often witty strategies. Maybe it’s no coincidence that, of the 75 artists represented proper right here, three-quarters of them are beneath 40 — and virtually a third of them reside and work throughout the brassy borough of Brooklyn.

Nicole Eisenman, whose “Procession” fills the Whitney’s sixth-floor terrace, is one of them. A dogged parade of the oppressed, it’s composed of a quantity of sculptures customary from all types of found objects, from rusty tuna cans to trash-can lids. The largest one, a hulking Prometheus type, is pulling a trailer whose bumper sticker reads, “How’s my sculpting? Call 1-800-EAT-S - - T.” Don’t miss the decide crouching on all fours, whose behind expels the occasional plume of smoke.

Darkly humorous, too, are Keegan Monaghan’s “Incoming,” its massive, glowing push-button phone as thickly painted as a shag carpet; Calvin Marcus’ vivid, pop-arty visions of Los Angeles; and Brian Belott’s installations that include, respectively, one subject fan and a quantity of working freezers.

Past biennials usually gave us just one work by each artist. This 12 months, we get a quantity of, which offers us a greater sense of what their creators care about, and the place they’re from: Eddie Arroyo’s Hopper-esque landscapes of Miami’s slowly disappearing Little Haiti; Daniel Lind-Ramos’ sculptures are crafted from the detritus — palm fronds, sneakers, FEMA tarps — left by Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico.

If there was ever a biennial you wouldn’t have to miss, it’s this one.

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