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Inside the 2024 Whitney Biennial

Tuesdays in April, 3–4 pm

Online, via Zoom

This dynamic three-part course gives participants an in-depth view of works in the 2024 edition of the Whitney Biennial, interpreting them in the context of our social, political, and cultural landscape. The sessions explore themes in the exhibition, from the fluidity of form, perception, and experience to historical and current land stewardship to concepts of selfhood. Each week offers a different lens through which to consider specific artworks and artists featured in the Biennial, considering them within current conversations in the art world and the history of American art.

Each virtual session includes time for questions from attendees.

Tuesday, April 9
Palimpsests
A palimpsest—traditionally referring to a manuscript or document that has been written on, scraped off, and reused—extends to artworks with layers of information built up over time in this session. Investigating works in the Biennial that act as repositories of diverse historical records, reflecting the ever-evolving sociopolitical and cultural conditions of contemporary globalized America. We explore how artists employ layering as a device to encapsulate both historical and personal transformations, ranging from Mavis Pusey’s portrayals of 1970s urban landscapes to Maja Ruznic’s paintings incorporating ghostly figures from Socialist Realism and Slavic folk imagery to Clarissa Tossin’s 3D prints of pre-Columbian Maya artifacts examining the connective tissue between history and place. This session is led by Patryk Tomaszewski, Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow. 

Tuesday, April 16
Embodiment
This session delves into intricate frameworks of identity, power, and agency explored through a variety of media by femme-identified artists in the exhibition. Through critical engagement with the works of diverse artists, we analyze the ways art becomes a conduit for challenging dominant narratives and reclaiming agency. From Suzanne Jackson’s ethereal paintings to Lotus L. Kang and Mary Lovelace O’Neal’s expressionist paintings, we examine how materiality itself becomes a site of resistance and negotiation. This session is led by Jacqueline Cofield, Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow. 

Tuesday, April 23
Sensation
This session explores how artists use instruments to inform performances or as tools for purposes beyond music-making, including interpersonal communication, scientific and archaeological inquiry, and therapeutic care. Looking closely at works by Nikita Gale, Clarissa Tossin, Constantina Zavitsanos, and Julia Phillips, among others, we consider instruments and objects modified by the artists that blur the line between art and functionality. Through these instruments, artists communicate ideas, systems, stories, and emotions, transforming them from tools for producing sound into dynamic mediums for acquiring, sensing, and generating knowledge about the world around us. This session is led by Fred Cruz Nowell, Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow.

This event is free but registration is required.

Register to attend online

This program will be recorded and made available on the Whitney's YouTube channel.

This event will have live closed captioning. If you need captions in a separate browser window, please email accessfeedback@whitney.org for StreamText link.

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