SHARON HAYES: THERE’S SO MUCH I WANT TO SAY TO YOU
JUNE 21–SEPTEMBER 9, 2012
Sharon Hayes (b. 1970) is a New York–based artist who uses photography, film, video, sound, and performance to examine the nexus between politics, history, speech, and desire. This exhibition brings together existing pieces and newly commissioned works, all of which articulate forms of what Hayes calls “speech acts.” The works are presented within an environment designed by Hayes for the Whitney’s third floor galleries, in collaboration with artist Andrea Geyer.
SIGNS & SYMBOLS
JUNE 28–OCTOBER 28, 2012
Drawn from the Museum’s deep holdings of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs, Signs & Symbols sheds new light on the development of American abstraction during the critical postwar period of the mid-1940s to the end of the 1950s. Many artists active in this period who are often overlooked—Will Barnet, Forrest Bess, Charles Seliger, and Mark Tobey, among others—developed abstract work that remains distinct from many of the concerns associated with the canonized Abstract Expressionists, including large-scale canvases and gestural brushwork. Instead, the exhibition presents a more nuanced narrative, focused on the figurative and calligraphic “signs and symbols” present in much of the highly controlled work from this period and included in this show. In many cases, this work drew inspiration from specifically American sources and sought to foster a national aesthetic distinct from European Surrealism and Cubism. These investigations formed an important foundation for a future generation of artists—including Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein—who later incorporated highly individualized systems of signs into their own work while embracing distinctly American subject matter.
Signs & Symbols is organized by Donna De Salvo, chief curator and deputy director for programs, in collaboration with Jane Panetta.
The show is a bit light due to the majority of donors and viewers vacationing in Europe and the Hamptons - but still worth a trip. Ecomanta.