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Whitney Biennial 2019

Edition 2019 looks great, goes wide and speaks loudly, but is it off mission? Lost in this bi-coastal perceived zeitgeist of identity politics is an unbiased survey of art-making with no agenda but the deep need to make it, and of the artists working in America’s backwaters

Works by Ragen Moss, installation view, Whitney Biennial 2019. Photo: Jill Spalding.
Casey Reas. © the artist.
Reas is known as the man who helped to create the open-source programming language Processing and brought coding within the grasp of visual artists. Here, he talks about how his work has changed over the course of his career and gives his views on the future of creativity and computers.
Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker (3D visualisation & programming), Imaginary Cities — NYC (11062471656), 2019. Real-time virtual environment (Unity3D) with soundscape (Flash), infinite duration. Photo: David Steele © Michael Takeo Magruder.
The digital artist Michael Takeo Magruder transforms urban maps from the British Library into data-driven artworks.
Nye Thompson: CKRBT, installation view, Watermans Art Centre, London, 2019. Photo: Geoff Titley.
In her project The Seeker, a system of machines looking at images on screen, analysing them and whispering to one other, we humans are merely peripheral intrusions, says Thompson. It’s scary, but exciting.
Robert Mapplethorpe. Self Portrait, 1988. Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper, 57.7 x 48.1 cm. ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
In their intimate and groundbreaking portraits, Woodman, Arbus and Mapplethorpe dared to show the diversity of identity and their struggle to exist on their own terms.
Dale Chihuly. Neodymium Reeds and Turquoise Marlins, blown glass, (date not specified). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London 2019. Photo: Anna McNay.
As an artist who seeks to create works that appear as if they came from nature, placing interventions throughout such a beautiful botanic garden, Dale Chihuly succeeds in mirroring and augmenting its pre-existing splendour.
Aliza Nisenbaum, London Underground: Brixton Station and Victoria Line Staff, 2019. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Photo: Angus Mill.
The Mexican-born, New York-based artist talks about her first UK public commission, a mural at Brixton underground station, which offers an intimate portrayal of Transport for London staff as part of the Art on the Underground series.
Irina Nakhova, Kiss, 2017. Diptych. Oil on canvas. Collection of the artist. Photo: Natasha Kurchanova © 2019 Irina Nakhova.
The Russian artist talks about her latest exhibition, Museum on the Edge, at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, and explains why she sees art not as a profession, but rather as her way of being.
Tadao Ando – Emaki Drawings, installation view, Château La Coste, Provence, France.
At this French sculpture park, whose landscape is dotted with his structures, the Japanese architect has designed, in his inimitable style, a new pavilion to exhibit drawings of 10 or so of his schemes.
Wong Ping, installation view, Golden Shower, Kunsthalle Basel, 2019. Photo: Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. Courtesy of the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong / Shanghai.
At Kunsthalle Basel, Hong Kong-born animator Wong Ping creates a seductive physical world for his grotesque and sexually charged animations with installation and sculptures.
Henry Moore, Reclining Male Nude, c1922. Drawing. Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation. © The Henry Moore Foundation. Photo: Michel Muller.
Although Henry Moore is best known as a sculptor, drawing was critical to his artistic practice. This exhibition is the largest of Moore’s drawings in more than 40 years.
Orson Welles. Photo: Getty Images.
A film and a book on Welles’s artwork provide another lens through which to observe one of cinema’s most fascinating protagonists.
Lawrence Lek, AIDOL, 2019. HD CGI Video, 84 min. Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Lek talks about artificial intelligence taking over from human creativity, and AIDOL, his feature-length film on the subject, now showing at Sadie Coles, London.
Joanna Piotrowska. Untitled, 2015. Originally commissioned through the Jerwood and Photoworks Awards 2015. Courtesy Southard Reid.
In this installation at Tate Britain, Piotrowska’s black-and-white photos and 16mm films of intimate, airless interiors expose the latent erotics of the home.
The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park designed by Feilden Fowles. Photo: Peter Cook.
A visitor pavilion by Feilden Fowles opens up an overlooked area of the 500-acre sculpture park. The Weston responds to its setting with a sensitive design - part sculpture, part architecture - utterly in tune with the landscape.
Born to Kill helmet, original prop from the film Full Metal Jacket. Photo: Ed Reeve, courtesy of the Design Museum.
This show takes us through the ephemera of Kubrick’s films – from female mannequins and a giant shiny white penis from A Clockwork Orange to a letter to the director from the woman who played Lolita – but is it inspiring, or simply sordid?.
Jonathan Baldock, Mask LVI, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Camden Arts Centre.
Baldock looks as if he is having fun, pulling faces in mud and decorating them in glaze, and the mood is infectious. He seems less interested in the details of cultural history than in producing the aesthetic of the ruin from pick’n’mix sources.
Perilous Bodies, installation view, image courtesy of Ford Foundation Gallery. Photo: Sebastian Bach.
The 19 artists in this exhibition use photography, video, installation, sculpture and painting in a timely reminder of the injustices faced by oppressed people across the world.
Oscar Murillo, Violent Amnesia, 2019. Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge. Photo: Matthew Hollow.
Spread across the various spaces of Kettle’s Yard, Murillo’s works address the recurrent theme of the movement of people across borders and human labour in a global economy.
Allan Sekula, Black Tide/Marea negra, 2002-03. 20 colour photographs in 10 frames, text. Copyright Allan Sekula. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris and London.
A career-spanning presentation of the late photographer and theorist shows an artist redefining the capabilities of his medium.
Performance view of BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Anne Imhof: Sex at Tate Modern 2019, © Tate Photography (Oliver Cowling).
Spending four hours at Imhof’s live works is like Waiting for Godot, for the slacker generation. The audience turns out to be the most fascinating element of the exhibition.
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