Video: The Glorious Mess of Art and Light at the New Whitney Museum

It’s not every day that a city wakes up to a brand-new mega-museum.

 

It’s not every day that a city wakes up to find itself in possession of a brand-new mega-museum. But that’s just how New York found itself on May 1, when the Whitney Museum of American Art officially opened the doors to its giant, Renzo Piano-designed space at the foot of the High Line, in the Meatpacking District (see Does the New Whitney Museum Herald a Golden Age for New York Institutions?).

Truth be told, Strictly Critical’s dynamic duo, Blake Gopnik and Christian Viveros-Fauné, initially had their doubts. (When don’t they?)

Gopnik felt that the older paintings, scaled for living rooms, were being shown in white-cube spaces designed for much bigger, splashier contemporary works; Viveros-Fauné wasn’t impressed by the one-percenter admission charge of $22. Museum’s everywhere seem addicted to growth, as though they’d caught the bug from companies whose shareholders demand a constant uptick in revenue (see Ben Davis on Why the New Whitney Museum Is So Visually Pleasing But Worrying for Art); and neither Gopnik nor Viveros-Fauné quite fell in love with the building’s almost incoherent exterior.

Inside the new Whitney Museum, however, Gopnik and Viveros-Fauné were confronted with such a glorious mess of art and light and air that they just couldn’t keep their doubts alive (poor things). There was simply no way to resist, or deny, the old-fashioned pleasure of wandering at ease among artworks you love—or better yet, art that you look forward to getting to know.

 

 

 


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In