In 2015, the Whitney Museum in New York City was relocated to downtown Manhattan's Meatpacking District, between the Hudson river and the High Line, a much talked-about elevated urban park. The art collection is housed in the new premises in a modern and hugely expanded glass-covered futuristic space, designed by well-known Italian architect Renzo Piano. I recently visited it, and discovered that the Whitney Biennial was taking place there. It is 'the longest-running survey of American art since 1932.'

Titled 'Quiet as It's Kept', the 2022 Biennial features a group of 63 artists and collectives whose dynamic works reflect the challenges, convolutions and opportunities of the American experience today. Delayed for a year by the pandemic, and with the inclusion of a few deceased artists, the show is exciting, and at the same time serious and thoughtful.

According to the statement by the curators David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, they began planning this Biennial in late 2019: 'Before Covid-19 and its reeling effects, before the uprisings demanding racial justice, before the widespread questioning of institutions and their structures, before the 2020 presidential election. Although underlying conditions are not new, their overlap, their intensity and their sheer ubiquity created a context in which past, present, and future folded into one another.'

It is not possible to write about the works in their entirety but I have selected a few to convey to the reader a glimpse into the diverse backgrounds and works of a few artists.

The 2022 Whitney Biennial expands the scope of 'American' art and is pieced together mostly by artists of Native American, African American, Latino and Asian descent

The paintings, Displaced Burial (1993, Acrylic on canvas) by Denyse Thomasos (born in Trinidad, died in NYC in 2012) are a distinct visual lexicon using overlapping lines that create a sense of chaos, and the intensity of events. His mono-colour paintings truly resonate with the viewer, as even though the artist was not alive during the Covid-19 pandemic, his simple yet intense works signify the claustrophobic conditions of confinement and isolation, which most people experienced...

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