The Whitney Has Wonders for the Post-Lockdown World

David Hammons: “Day’s End,” 2014-2021. Stainless steel/precast concrete; 52 ft high, 325 ft long, 65 ft wide. © David Hammons. | Photo by Timothy Schenck

WHAT: The Whitney Museum of American Art

WHERE: 99 Gansevoort St.

HOW: Admission & exhibitions info at

VISITOR POLICIES: Guidelines are in place for the safety and well-being of visitors and staff. Visitors must book timed tickets in advance. Face coverings are required, even for vaccinated visitors. Click here to learn more abbot the Whitney’s safety guidelines.

BY CHARLES BATTERSBY | People visiting the recently opened Little Island (Pier 55, Hudson River Park) or exiting the High Line from its southernmost point (Gansevoort & Washington Sts.) are liable to catch sight of a cathedral-sized art installation on the Hudson. Day’s End, by David Hammons, is part of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s current exhibitions—but people can visit it without buying a ticket to the Whitney. Yet this sunset selfie spot beckons passersby to see what other wonders await inside the actual museum.

At present, the Whitney is focusing on Black artists, including Hammons, but also has entire floors devoted to modern artists like Dawoud Bey and Julie Mehretu. Set to close on Aug. 8, Mehretu’s work needs to be seen in person appreciate the massive size and meticulous detail.

Artistic selfie spots are on hand.

The Whitney is also showing selections of early and mid-20th century works, including pieces by Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollack. New Yorkers who are just getting re-acquainted with post-lockdown travel are liable to be especially impacted by George Tooker’s haunting The Subway.

Outdoor sculpture gardens are on all five floors.

For people looking for interactive installations, or “experiential” art to snap pics with, the outdoor sculpture gardens not only have the expected sculptures to pose next to (and admire for their artistic qualities), but also provides a magnificent view of the skyline. As part of the Making Knowing: Craft in Art exhibition, the Whitney is showing Kitchen, by Liza Lou. It is a fabulous and photogenic pop art installation consisting of a life-sized kitchen where all of the mundane elements of typical household kitchen are coated in glorious beads.

Liza Lou (b. 1969), “Kitchen,” 1991-96. Beads, plaster, wood, found objects, 96 x 132 x 168 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Peter Norton 2008 | Photo by Tom Powel, © Liza Lou
This life-sized retro kitchen is covered in tiny beads
Julie Mehretu: “Epigraph, Damascus, 2016” / Photogravure, sugar lift aquatint, spit bite aquatint, open bite on six panels / 97 ½ × 226 inches / LA County Museum of Art, gift of Kelvin/Hana Davis / Printed by BORCH Editions, Copenhagen / © Julie Mehretu
Look but don’t touch.



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