The Easel

28th May 2019

Critique of Inequality Is Aimed in All Directions at the 2019 Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Biennial aims high – to profile “relevant and important” American art. As you might expect, it can’t satisfy everyone. Increased diversity of artists represented gets applause. From there, complaints. For one “There’s a lot to like … but there’s not a lot to love.” Another laments an absence of “the irresponsible joy of aesthetic experience”. Images are here.

21st May 2019

Venice Biennale: Tidy Narratives Come Unstuck

The Biennale is big – very big. Most of the art is in the national pavilions, of which there are 90 or so. For the first time exactly half the artists represented are women. Lithuania won the gong for best pavillion with its tableaux of actors lying on a re-created beach, singing songs. Ghana, a first time participant, is a standout. Common themes are climate change and the plight of refugees.