The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, has announced the artists who will be participating in the 2022 Whitney Biennial. Titled "Quiet as It's Kept," after a colloquialism inspired by novelist Toni Morrison, jazz drummer Max Roach, and artist David Hammons, all of whom have invoked it in their works, the event will feature the work of a diverse array of sixty-three artists and collectives in various stages of their careers. The Biennial will run from April 6 through September 5, with select programs continuing through October 23; it is being co-organized by Whitney curators David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards.
In a joint statement, the pair addressed the profound changes in the landscape since the last iteration of the Biennial took place in 2019, noting, "We began planning for this exhibition, originally slated to open in 2021, almost a year before the 2020 election, before the pandemic and shutdown with their reeling effects, before the uprisings demanding racial justice and before the questioning of institutions and their structures." They went on to acknowledge that "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. We've organized the exhibition to reflect these precarious and improvised times. The Biennial primarily serves as a forum for artists, and the works that will be presented reflect their enigmas, the things that perplex them, the important questions they are asking."
The 2022 Biennial will largely take place on the fifth and sixth floors of the Whitney; these spaces will be made to serve as counterpoints to each other, with one floor darkened and laid out like a labyrinth additionally containing what the press release calls a "space of reserve"; the other floor will be bright and open, recalling a clearing. Artists from Mexico, First Nations artists from Canada, and aritsts born outside of North America will investigate the dynamics of borders and explore what is meant by and contained within the term "American."
"Rather than proposing a unified theme, we pursue a series of hunches throughout the exhibition: that abstraction demonstrates a tremendous capacity to create, share, and, sometimes withhold, meaning; that research-driven conceptual art can combine the lushness of ideas and materiality; that personal narratives sifted through political, literary, and pop cultures can address larger social frameworks; that artworks can complicate what 'American' means by addressing the country's physical and psychological boundaries; and that our 'now' can be reimagined by engaging with under-recognized artistic models and artists we've lost," explained the curators.
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Alex Da Corte
A Gathering of the Tribes Steve Cannon
Pao Houa Her
Ivy Kwan Arce and Julie Tolentino
Daniel Joseph Martinez
Alejandro “Luperca” Morales
Moved by the Motion
Woody De Othello
Michael E. Smith
Sable Elyse Smith
Trinh T. Minh-ha
Dyani White Hawk