Jan 14–Apr 17, 2016

This exhibition brings together paintings by five artists—Nina Chanel Abney, Mathew Cerletty, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Caitlin Keogh, and Orion Martin. Highlighting an engagement with representation among some emerging artists, the works in this group conjure a sense of space that is dimensionless and airless, like the illusionistic scenery flats used on stage and movie sets. Each of these artists fills their compositions with objects, bodies and places that are based on reality, yet are exaggerated, recontextualized, simplified or flattened. The individual works are imbued with both the uncertainty of our sociopolitical moment as well as the seductive quality of consumerism and physical attraction. The paintings in Flatlands invite the viewer to reflect on this ever-present polarity and ambivalence of contemporary life.

Flatlands is organized by assistant curators Laura Phipps and Elisabeth Sherman.

The exhibition will be on view through April 17, 2016 in the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery, on the Museum's first floor, which is accessible to the public free-of-charge.

Major support is provided by John R. Eckel Jr. Foundation. 

Generous support is provided by Liz and Jonathan Goldman.


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On Unstable Ground

By Elisabeth Sherman and Laura Phipps

"The artists in Flatlands manipulate their subjects in order to impart their own brands of bizarre unreality."

Read essay

Explore works from this exhibition
in the Whitney's collection

View 4 works

In the News

"The works here . . . resemble a kind of Surrealism strained through Pop Art, a mix of sharp contours and taut surfaces channeling content that’s less about a metaphysical truth rooted in the subconscious than it is about consciousness as artifice."
TimeOut NY

Flatlands,' Where the Familiar Becomes Hypnotically Strange"
The New York Times

"An unusually fast-thinking museum show"
W Magazine