What Is the Most Iconic Artwork of the 21st Century? 14 Art Experts Weigh In

How do you choose one defining artwork for a century still in its adolescence? Some of the art world’s leading figures take their best shot. Want to make an art historian laugh? Ask them to name the most iconic artwork of the 21st century. Turns out, it’s not so easy to single out the most […]

Censorship, Not the Painting, Must Go: On Dana Schutz’s Image of Emmett Till

Presuming that calls for censorship and destruction constitute a legitimate response to perceived injustice leads us down a very dark path. The presence of blackness in a Whitney Biennial invariably stirs controversy — it’s deemed to be unfit or not enough, or too much. The current Whitney Biennial is no exception — the art press […]

7 Influential Installation Artworks You Should Know

Bursting out of the frame and off the pedestal, installation art has proven to be one of the most vital artistic innovations of the past century. Its practitioners—including Robert Smithson, Mike Kelley, and Yayoi Kusama—appreciate its anything-goes sensibility and relative absence of historical baggage. Individual installations may take the form of architectural interventions, taxonomic collections, or large-scale […]

Wael Shawky’s Epic Films Will Completely Change How You See the Crusades

Egypt-born and -based Wael Shawky inhabits the epic’s structure impeccably, and in the most unexpected way possible: with puppets. In a lush, labyrinthine trilogy of films being exhibited at MoMA PS1, he uses sublimely designed, marvelously costumed ensembles of marionettes and puppets — some made centuries ago, others fashioned by the artist of Murano glass. […]

The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art

If you go to Kara Walker’s new exhibit, “A Subtlety,” at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, a lot will overwhelm you. You’ll likely wait outside in a line that snakes down Kent Street, across from rowhouses that were once owned by Puerto Rican families and now fetch millions. You’ll sign a waiver absolving the […]

Jeff Koons, Kara Walker, and the Challenge of Public Art

As if his museum-filling Whitney retrospective weren’t enough, Jeff Koons currently has a massive sculpture on view at Rockefeller Center. “Split-Rocker,” presented by Gagosian Gallery and organized by the Public Art Fund and real estate developer Tishman Speyer, is comprised of two halves, one the recreated head of a toy pony rocker that belonged to his son, the […]

Whitney Edits a Tale of a Nation

A year away from opening, the new home of the Whitney Museum of American Art is still a construction site, but it is already a vivid presence in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, and curators have mapped out months’ worth of exhibitions there. The first show to go on view next spring — an opening date has […]