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Taking the Title ‘Quiet as It’s Kept,’ 2022 Whitney Biennial Names 63 Participating Artists

After being delayed a year because of the pandemic, the Whitney Biennial, the most closely watched contemporary art exhibition in the United States, has named the 63 artists and collectives that will participate in the 2022 edition of the exhibition, which will open on April 6 and run until September 5 at the Whitney Museum in New York.

The exhibition is curated by two Whitney curators, David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, who have titled it “Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept,” a colloquialism that has been invoked by the likes of novelist Toni Morrison, jazz drummer Max Roach, and artist David Hammons. The exhibition was originally supposed to open in spring 2021, and the curators said in a statement they had begun its planning a year before the 2020 election, the pandemic, and the racial justice protests that spent the country in summer 2020 after the murder of George Floyd.

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Illustration of two Black women.

“The Whitney Biennial is an ongoing experiment, the result of a shared commitment to artists and the work they do,” Breslin and Edwards said in their statement. “While many of these underlying conditions are not new, their overlapping, intensity, and sheer ubiquity created a context in which past, present, and future folded into one another. We’ve organized the exhibition to reflect these precarious and improvised times. The Biennial primarily serves as a forum for artists, and the works that will be presented reflect their enigmas, the things that perplex them, the important questions they are asking.”

Since its first edition in 1932, the Whitney Biennial has been a polarizing exhibition, with fans and detractors on both sides. The most notorious iteration of the exhibition was the 1993 edition, which many critics at the time derided for its focus on so-called identity politics; that show has in recent years been re-evaluated for the groundbreaking ways in which it dealt with the realities that people of color face in the United States and that artists of color face within the art world.

The most memorable piece from that exhibition was the admission tags, officially titled Museum Tags: Second Movement (Overture); or, Overture con Claque (Overture with Hired Audience Members), a commissioned piece by L.A.-based artist Daniel Joseph Martinez. Martinez will again be included in the 2022 Whitney Biennial, as will Coco Fusco, Renée Green, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Charles Ray, who were also included in the 1993 edition.

The forthcoming biennial will also include a grouping of some of the most closely watched artists working today, including Rebecca Belmore, Nayland Blake, Raven Chacon, Tony Cokes, Alex Da Corte, Ellen Gallagher, EJ Hill, Alfredo Jaar, Julie Tolentino, Rick Lowe, Rodney McMillian, Adam Pendleton, Lucy Raven, Guadalupe Rosales, and Kandis Williams.

The youngest artist included in the biennial is Andrew Roberts, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1995, and the oldest living artist is Awilda Sterling-Duprey, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1947. The exhibition will also include the work of several deceased artists, including Steve Cannon, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, N. H. Pritchard, Jason Rhoades, and Denyse Thomasos. Additionally, the curators said they have included artists who work outside of the United States, including artists based in two cities on the U.S.-Mexico border (Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez) and First Nation artists in Canada as a way to explore the “dynamics of borders and what constitutes ‘American.’”

This iteration will also prove to be unique in that Breslin and Edwards have done away with creating separate programming for performance and video and film, which have previously been organized by additional curators and presented in separate areas of the museum which many visitors tended not to see. Instead, they said that the show will feature “dynamic contributions that take different forms over the course of the presentation: artworks—even walls—change, and performance animates the galleries and objects” and that performance and film/video will be “integrated into the exhibition with an equal and consistent presence in the galleries.”

Breslin and Edwards added, “Rather than proposing a unified theme, we pursue a series of hunches throughout the exhibition: that abstraction demonstrates a tremendous capacity to create, share, and, sometimes withhold, meaning; that research-driven conceptual art can combine the lushness of ideas and materiality; that personal narratives sifted through political, literary, and pop cultures can address larger social frameworks; that artworks can complicate what ‘American’ means by addressing the country’s physical and psychological boundaries; and that our ‘now’ can be reimagined by engaging with under-recognized artistic models and artists we’ve lost.”

The full artist list follows below.

Lisa Alvarado
Born 1982 in San Antonio, TX
Lives in Chicago, IL

Harold Ancart
Born 1980 in Brussels, Belgium
Lives in New York, NY

Mónica Arreola
Born 1976 in Tijuana, Mexico
Lives in Tijuana, Mexico

Emily Barker
Born 1992 in San Diego, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Yto Barrada
Born 1971 in Paris, France
Lives in Brooklyn, NY, and Tangier, Morocco

Rebecca Belmore
Anishinaabe
Born 1960 in Upsala, Canada
Lives in Vancouver, Canada

Jonathan Berger
Born 1980 in New York, NY
Lives in New York, NY, and Glover, VT

Nayland Blake
Born 1960 in New York, NY
Lives in Brooklyn and Queens, NY

Cassandra Press
Founded 2016 by Kandis Williams

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Born 1951 in Busan, South Korea
Died 1982 in New York, NY

Raven Chacon
Diné
Born 1977 in Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation
Lives in Albuquerque, NM

Leidy Churchman
Born 1979 in Villanova, PA
Lives in New York, NY, and West Tremont, ME

Tony Cokes
Born 1956 in Richmond, VA
Lives in Providence, RI

Jacky Connolly
Born 1990 in New York, NY
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Matt Connors
Born 1973 in Chicago, IL
Lives in New York, NY, and Los Angeles, CA

Alex Da Corte
Born 1980 in Camden, NJ
Lives in Philadelphia, PA

Aria Dean
Born 1993 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives in New York, NY

Danielle Dean
Born 1982 in Huntsville, AL
Lives in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA

Jane Dickson
Born 1952 in Chicago, IL
Lives in New York, NY

Buck Ellison
Born 1987 in San Francisco, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Alia Farid
Born 1985 in Kuwait City, Kuwait
Lives in San Juan, PR, and Kuwait City, Kuwait

Coco Fusco
Born 1960 in New York, NY
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Ellen Gallagher
Born 1965 in Providence, RI
Lives in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Brooklyn, NY

A Gathering of the Tribes /Steve Cannon
Founded 1991
Steve Cannon: Born 1935 in New Orleans, LA
Died 2019 in New York, NY

Cy Gavin
Born 1985 in Pittsburgh, PA
Lives in New York State

Adam Gordon
Born 1986 in Minneapolis, MN
Lives in Jersey City, NJ

Renée Green
Born 1959 in Cleveland, OH
Lives in Somerville, MA, and New York, NY

Pao Houa Her
Born 1982 in Laos
Lives in Blaine, MN

EJ Hill
Born 1985 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Alfredo Jaar
Born 1956 in Santiago, Chile
Lives in New York, NY

Rindon Johnson
Born 1990 in San Francisco, CA
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Ivy Kwan Arce and Julie Tolentino
Ivy Kwan Arce: Born 1965 in Salinas, CA
Lives in New York, NY
Julie Tolentino: Born 1964 in San Francisco, CA
Lives in Joshua Tree, CA

Ralph Lemon
Born 1952 in Cincinnati, OH
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Duane Linklater
Omaskêko Ininiwak
Born 1976 in Treaty 9 Territory (Northern Ontario, Canada)
Lives in North Bay, Canada (Robinson Huron Treaty Territory)

James Little
Born 1952 in Memphis, TN
Lives in New York, NY

Rick Lowe
Born 1961 in rural Alabama
Lives in Houston, TX

Daniel Joseph Martinez
Born 1957 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA, and Paris, France

Dave McKenzie
Born 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Rodney McMillian
Born 1969 in Columbia, SC
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Na Mira
Born 1982 in Lawrence, KS, on Kickapoo, Osage, Kansa, and Sioux lands
Lives in Los Angeles, CA, on Tongva, Gabrielino, Kizh, and Chumash lands

Alejandro “Luperca” Morales
Born 1990 in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
Lives in Monterrey, Mexico

Moved by the Motion
Founded 2016 by Wu Tsang and Tosh Basco

Terence Nance
Born 1982 in Dallas, TX
Lives in America

Woody De Othello
Born 1991 in Miami, FL
Lives in Oakland, CA

Adam Pendleton
Born 1984 in Richmond, VA
Lives in New York, NY

N. H. Pritchard
Born 1939 in New York, NY
Died 1996 in eastern Pennsylvania

Lucy Raven
Born 1977 in Tucson, AZ
Lives in New York, NY

Charles Ray
Born 1953 in Chicago, IL
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Jason Rhoades
Born 1965 in Newcastle, CA
Died 2006 in Los Angeles, CA

Andrew Roberts
Born 1995 in Tijuana, Mexico
Lives in Mexico City and Tijuana, Mexico

Guadalupe Rosales
Born 1980 in Redwood City, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Veronica Ryan
Born 1956 in Plymouth, Montserrat
Lives in London, United Kingdom, and New York, NY

Rose Salane
Born 1992 in New York, NY
Lives in Queens, NY

Michael E. Smith
Born 1977 in Detroit, MI
Lives in Providence, RI

Sable Elyse Smith
Born 1986 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives in New York, NY

Awilda Sterling-Duprey
Born 1947 in San Juan, PR
Lives in San Juan, PR

Rayyane Tabet
Born 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon
Lives in Beirut, Lebanon, and San Francisco, CA

Denyse Thomasos
Born 1964 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died 2012 in New York, NY

Trinh T. Minh-ha
Born in Hanoi, Vietnam
Lives in Berkeley, CA

WangShui
Born 1986 in USA
Lives in New York, NY

Eric Wesley
Born 1973 in Los Angeles, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Dyani White Hawk
Sičangu Lakota
Born 1976 in Madison, WI
Lives in Minneapolis, MN

Kandis Williams
Born 1985 in Baltimore, MD
Lives in Los Angeles, CA and Brooklyn, NY

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