Dec 16, 2010–Aug 5, 2012
At a time when images barrage us everywhere from our televisions to our mobile phones, the latest reinstallation of the Whitney’s permanent collection galleries invites visitors to slow down and experience art in a dramatic new way. Singular Visions presents ten highlights from the museum’s holdings, each in its own space, in order to create intimate and compelling encounters with a single work of art. Each piece was chosen to convey a distinct impression and a specific sense of its maker’s vision, whether somber or celebratory, figurative or abstract, quiet or bold. Some of the works on view require their own spaces because they are large or comprise many parts, while others explore difficult topics or emotions that one might wish to consider in relative isolation. Through their variety of mediums, sizes, styles, and subjects, the works in Singular Visions encourage a range of powerful experiences and reveal how artists have stretched the very boundaries of what an artwork can be.
The following artists are currently included in Singular Visions: Jonathan Borofsky, Alexander Calder, Eva Hesse, Matthew Day Jackson, Jasper Johns, Lee Krasner, Len Lye, Agnes Martin, Josephine Meckseper, and Fred Wilson. The following artists were previously included in Singular Visions but have been rotated out and are no longer on view: Eleanor Antin, AA Bronson, Paul Chan, Sarah Charlesworth, Anne Collier, Leon Golub, Robert Grosvenor, Willem de Kooning, Edward Kienholz, Aleksandra Mir, Robert Morris, Ree Morton, Georgia O’Keeffe, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Gary Simmons, and Tom Wesselmann.
Singular Visions is organized by Dana Miller, curator, permanent collection and curator Scott Rothkopf.
Robert Grosvenor, Tenerife, 1966. Fiberglass, plywood, steel, and synthetic polymer lacquer. 66 × 276 × 6 3/4 in. (167.6 × 701 × 17.2cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation Inc. 67.51a–b. © Robert Grosvenor; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Paul Chan, 1st Light, 2005. Video installation, black and white and color, silent, 14 min., 103 × 245 × 283 in. (261.6 × 622.3 × 718.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2007.4 © Paul Chan; courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York
Edward Kienholz, The Wait, 1964–65. Tableau: wood, fabric, polyester resin, flock, metal, bones, glass, paper, leather, varnish, black-and-white photographs, taxidermed cat, live parakeet, wicker, and plastic, 80 × 160 × 84 in. (203.2 × 406.4 × 213.4 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation Inc. 66.49a-m. © Nancy Reddin Kienholz
Eva Hesse (1936–1970), No title, 1970. Latex, rope, string, and wire, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund, and the Painting and Sculpture Committee 88.17a-b. © The Estate of Eva Hesse. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Gary Simmons, Step In The Arena (The Essentialist Trap), 1994. Wood, metal, canvas, ultrasuede, pigment, ropes, and shoes, 85 × 120 × 120 in. (215.9 × 304.8 × 304.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art; gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation 95.83. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Singular Visions: Robert Grosvenor, Tenerife (1966)
Singular Visions: AA Bronson on Felix Partz, June 5, 1994
Singular Visions: Edward Kienholz, The Wait (1964-65)
Singular Visions: Eva Hesse, No Title, 1970
Singular Visions: Gary Simmons, Step in the Arena (The Essentialist Trap) (1994)
Singular Visions: Robert Morris, Untitled (L-beams), 1965
Jasper Johns, Three Flags | Video in American Sign Language
Vlog: Singular Visions
In the News
Review: “a refreshing departure from the typical collection sampler. It also hints at some of the possibilities of a downtown Whitney, one with more breathing room for large installations and other difficult-to-show works.”
—The New York Times
Review: "Museum shows rarely offer this kind of intimacy. I found myself surrendering to the art and participating in the premise in a unique way—slowing down and spending a lot of time with each work, thinking and musing about concepts and materials and love, life, and death, connecting one piece with another, and stretching my perceptions in ways I haven’t in a while."
—New York Art
"Peetie the Parakeet, Art-World Darling"
—New York Art
"The Cat is Stuffed, the Bird is Real"
—The New York Times