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Test Pattern

Aug 22–Dec 1, 2013

Nick Mauss, b. 1980, only that, 2012. Glaze on ceramic, 11 1/4 x 14 7/8in. (28.6 x 37.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee  2013.5. Digital Image, © Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Nick Mauss, b. 1980, only that, 2012. Glaze on ceramic, 11 1/4 × 14 7/8in. (28.6 × 37.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee  2013.5. Digital Image, © Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

A selection of recent acquisitions from the Museum’s permanent collection, Test Pattern brings together works, made mostly in the last three years, that demonstrate artists’ shared interests in investigating the entangled roles of materiality, reproduction and process. Perhaps in response to the increasingly seamless exchanges of visual information in the digital age, the artists featured in this exhibition seem intent on complicating and obscuring content, encouraging slower and more nuanced ways of looking. The phrase “test pattern,” a graphic tool that enables the synchronization of signals for optimum color and clarity, suggests a metaphor for the way these artists question the legibility of images at a moment where technology has amplified the impact of images and accelerated their transmission. Including works by Michele Abeles, Tauba Auerbach, Mathew Cerletty, Leslie Hewitt, Meredyth Sparks, Kaari Upson and others, the exhibition demonstrates the Museum’s continued commitment to collecting work by younger and emerging artists.

Test Pattern is organized by Laura Phipps, Senior Curatorial Assistant and Nicholas Robbins, Curatorial Assistant.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Artists Council of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Works from the exhibition

Michele Abeles, Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:, 2012. Pigment print mounted on board, 37 1/8 × 41in. (94.3 × 104.1 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and Elizabeth Kabler  T.2013.41© Michele Abeles; Photograph  courtesy of  47 Canal, New York
Lucy Raven, PR1, 2012. Screenprint, 38 7/8 × 28 in. (98.7 × 71.1 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Iris Z. Marden  T.2013.501  © the artist and Forth Estate
Rachel Harrison, Untitled (Perth Amboy), 2001. Chromogenic print, 17 7/16 × 19 1/2in. (44.3 × 49.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Arthur and Susan Fleischer  2010.115© 2001 Rachel Harrison, courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York
Nick Mauss, only that, 2012. Glaze on ceramic, 11 1/4 × 14 7/8in. (28.6 × 37.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee  2013.5Digital Image © Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York
Seth Price, Twine, 2008. Inkjet print on protective film mounted on acrylic, 96 × 48 × 1/8in. (243.8 × 121.9 × 0.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee  2011.33© Courtesy of the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, N.Y.

Installation Photography

Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Test Pattern (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, August 22–December 1, 2013). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
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In the News

“The pieces [in Test Pattern] explore how information can be layered, obscured and complicated to create beauty.”
Wired

“The Whitney Museum’s Test Pattern Exhibition Challenges The Production Of Digital Images”
Architectural Digest

The rising young artists of Test Pattern . . . implore you to look up—you might be surprised at the strange patterns all around you. 
W Magazine