Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept

In April 2022, the Whitney will present the eightieth edition of its flagship exhibition, the Whitney Biennial. Established in 1932 by the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, it is the longest-running exhibition of its kind. Featuring sixty-three artists and collectives from a variety of generations, working across disciplines and media, the 2022 Biennial takes full advantage of the Museum’s unique architecture to present an exhibition that takes a look at the current state of contemporary art in America.

A constellation of the most relevant art and ideas of our time, the 2022 Whitney Biennial is coorganized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, with Gabriel Almeida Baroja, Curatorial Project Assistant, and Margaret Kross, former Senior Curatorial Assistant.

Whitney Biennal 2022 Curators Adrienne Edwards and David Breslin. Courtesy of The Whitney.
Courtesy of The Whitney.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Museum’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented: “Curators David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards have been visiting artists over the past two years in search of the most important and relevant work. The 2022 Biennial arrives at a time haunted by a global pandemic and plagued by ongoing racial and economic inequities and polarizing politics. The artists in the exhibition challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community and offer one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years.”
Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted, “Throughout this challenging time, it’s been an inspiration and pleasure to watch David and Adrienne curate their edition of the Whitney’s enduring, signature exhibition. Their intellectual chemistry was as evident as the rigor and care they brought to their collaborations with artists. The 2022 Biennial deftly manages to reflect both the spirit of a moment and deep historical awareness—of art, our society, and the Biennial itself.”

Courtesy of The Whitney.
Courtesy of The Whitney.

The 2022 Biennial features dynamic contributions that take different forms over the course of the presentation: artworks—even walls—change, and performance animates the galleries and objects. With a roster of artists at all points in their careers, the Biennial surveys the art of these times through an intergenerational group, many with an interdisciplinary perspective, and the curators have chosen not to have a separate performance or video and film program. Rather, these forms are integrated into the exhibition with an equal and consistent presence in the galleries. To view full list of participants click here

The title of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, Quiet as It’s Kept, is a colloquialism. Breslin and Edwards were inspired by the ways novelist Toni Morrison, jazz drummer Max Roach, and artist David Hammons have invoked it in their works. The phrase is typically said prior to something— sometimes obvious—that should be kept secret.

About The Whitney:

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for ninety years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.