The Triumph of Revisionism: The Whitney’s American Century

Installation view of “Racing Thoughts,” part of “America is Hard to See” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (all photographs by Jillian Steinhauer)

With America Is Hard to See, the exhibition inaugurating its luminous new Renzo Piano building, the Whitney has reclaimed its role among the city’s museums as the engine of the new.

This was hardly expected. The last words I wrote about the museum, in a review of its misbegotten Jeff Koons retrospective, were not hopeful:

The [Koons] exhibition’s historical position as the last to fill the Breuer building is a travesty, an abdication of the museum’s responsibility to balance aesthetic discernment with the forces of the marketplace.

As the museum settles into its new, greatly expanded premises downtown, its role in the creation and presentation of art will undoubtedly evolve in unpredictable ways, but in the meantime, forget the Whitney. Art is elsewhere.

There is exactly

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