• Whitney: History of Protests

    Date posted: October 17, 2017 Author: Abraham Lubleski

    An Incomplete History of Protest is a new exhibition of works from the Whitney’s collection, examining how artists from the 1940s to the present have confronted the political and social issues of their day. The featured artists see their work as essential to challenging established thought and creating a more equitable culture.

    The exhibition brings together some of the Whitney’s most powerful works by Mark Bradford, Paul Chan, Larry Clark, General Idea, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Guerilla Girls, On Kawara, Edward Kienholz, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehrutu, Toyo Miyatake, Senga Nengudi, Gordon Parks, Ad Reinhardt, Martha Rosler, and others.

    Many of the artists have sought changes, such as ending the war in Vietnam or combating the AIDS crisis. Others have engaged with protest more indirectly, with the long term in mind, hoping to create new ways of imagining society and citizenship.

    The exhibition offers a series of historical case studies focused on particular moments and themes—from questions of representation to the fight for civil rights—that remain relevant today. At the root of the exhibition is the belief that artists play a profound role in transforming their time and shaping the future.

    For more information, visit the Whitney’s website.

     Black and white photograph of protesters with black rectangles covering their signs.

    Annette Lemieux (b. 1957), Black Mass, 1991. Latex, acrylic, and oil on canvas, 95 13/16 × 105 × 1 13/16 in. (243.4 × 266.7 × 4.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Emily Fisher Landau P.2010.173. © Annette Lemieux

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