If you missed “America is Hard to See,” it’s not too late to see most of the works of which it was composed in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new cumulative and long-standing exhibit, “The Whitney’s Collection.”
The new exhibit inhabits the sixth and seventh floors of the museum’s Gansevoort Street location in the Meatpacking District. The exhibit features 11 rooms, with each room titled according to the most representative work contained therein. The curation of this exhibit flows from photo to video to painting to sculpture effortlessly.
The seventh floor room, titled “Fighting with All Our Might,” displays the aftermath of the stock market crash in the United States in the Great Depression, revealing the disillusionment and horror of the time period. The opposite wall features a plethora of works graphically and beautifully depicting the horrific nature of slavery and racial hate crimes in the United States. The sixth floor room, “Raw War,” houses later paintings of political corruption and the Vietnam War from 1960-1970. Not to miss on this floor is Peter Saul’s graphic, “Saigon,” which illustrates the gruesome nature of crimes committed by the American soldiers upon the Vietnamese during the war.
Many prominent American artists, such as Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol and Roy Willem de Kooning are featured in this exhibit, and not necessarily their most famous works. Visitors are provided the opportunity to see art in a calculated way, taking the famous artists’ non-famous works into account and creating a conceptual story, as well as a history of America.
“The Whitney’s Collection” does not change anything from its preceding exhibit except for the fact that it’s missing the fifth floor — this is in preparation for “Frank Stella: A Retrospective,” opening on the Oct. 30. Also currently on view at the Whitney is “Michele Abeles: Baby Carriage on Bike or Riot Shield as Carriage” and “Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist.”
“The Whitney’s Collection” opened Sept. 28 on 99 Gansevoort St. NYU students receive free admission with valid student ID.
A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 5 print edition. Email Natalie Whalen at [email protected]