The Whitney Museum
If you haven’t visited the Whitney Museum of American Art since their new building opened in May, we’ve got five great reasons to make it a New Year’s resolution. (Finally, a New Year’s resolution that doesn’t involve sit-ups or kale.) What could be better than starting 2016 with a real rush of inspiration?
It’s a museum that celebrates the living.
Museums most often celebrate and preserve the past, and that’s a wonderful thing in its own right, but the Whitney is a museum about the present. As a museum focused on America’s living artists, the Whitney’s exhibits have a freshness and relevance that makes “museum” almost feel like the wrong word.
It’s the American art world’s equivalent of CMJ.
Do you love the excitement of the CMJ Music Marathon, where you can see talented musicians before they are a household name? The Whitney regularly purchases and exhibits many pieces of art in the same year they were created, before the artists are widely known. In fact, the Whitney helps to define what is influential and innovative in American art.
It’s a museum with an open mind.
In the 21st century we have more mediums to communicate and express ourselves than ever before. The Whitney Museum is a leader in embracing mediums beyond the traditional canvas. It was the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik in 1982) and its exhibits regularly include film, video, installation art, net art and new media.
You only have until February 7th to take in the museum’s Frank Stella Retrospective. Filling the museum’s entire fifth floor, the exhibit features approximately 100 of his paintings, drawings, reliefs and sculptures, from the well known to the rarely seen. Roberta Smith of The New York Times: Art Review describes the exhibit this way: “The totality of the show can make the mind reel with ideas, insights and arguments. Many of these are fomented by an installation that is alternately dazzling, oppressive and nuts. It surrounds us on every side with the sheer physical invention of Mr. Stella’s art, and his drive to use the latest materials and tools, including the computer, and to constantly challenge ideas about what painting can be.”
Emerging NYC artist Rachel Rose’s first solo exhibition and selected pieces from the collection of noted collectors Thea and Ethan Wagner (including works by Diane Arbus, Jeff Koons and more) are additional enticements.
Last but not least, there is the building.
The new Whitney offers so much more than just expansive indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces. Architect Renzo Piano expresses it beautifully: “At this gathering place beneath the High Line, visitors will see through the building entrance and the large windows on the west side to the Hudson River beyond. Here, all at once, you have the water, the park, the powerful industrial structures and the exciting mix of people, brought together and focused by this new building and the experience of art.”
Book a stay at The Benjamin and warm up your winter with a rich sensory experience. Spend an afternoon at the Whitney Museum, and follow it with a fabulous dinner at The National.