Two Critics on the Whitney Biennial

Ben Davis and Danielle Jackson discuss the 2024 edition of the vaunted American biennial.

An assemblage by Ser Serpas at the 2024 Whitney Biennial. Photo: Ben Davis.

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Every two years, the Whitney Museum of American Art returns with its signature and much-anticipated biennial. Founded in 1931, the Whitney Biennial is one of the most historically important art events in the United States, a survey that brings together artists from throughout the country, and more recently, from around the world. Often controversial, the Whitney Biennial is viewed by art fans as more than just a show to enjoy. It is closely scrutinized as a statement about art now.

Well, the 2024 edition of the Whitney Biennial has just opened here in New York, with the title “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” It is curated by Meg Olni, a curator-at-large, and Chrissie Iles, a veteran Whitney curator. It features just a little more than 40 artists laid out across the museum’s galleries. Artnet’s critic Ben Davis has written a take on the 2024 Whitney Biennial for Artnet—and so has Danielle Jackson, a critic and Artnet contributor. So, how does this show feel, how does it stack up to previous editions, and what does it all mean? Two art critics got together to hash it all out.

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