Saturday, October 3, 2015

Appreciating the New Whitney

--> The new Whitney Museum of American Art’s inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See, closed on September 27. It was a great start. Of course, most of my time was spent in two places.

Peggy Bacon, Lloyd Goodrich

On the first floor there was the wonderful room dedicated to the history of the museum, with Peggy Bacon’s Whitney Studio Club drypoint – PERFECT! Bacon knew Lloyd Goodrich, art historian and long-time Whitney curator who became director in 1958.

On the top exhibition floor (mostly the show went chronologically down from the top) there were the protest pieces from the 1930s.  There was entire wall devoted to scenes of lynching including Harry Sternberg’s Southern Holiday, 1935, adjacent to works by Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson Shahn. In more serene areas there were works by Joe Jones and Louis Lozowick.  

Harry Sternberg, Detail: Southern Holiday, 1935