• Rist and Beyonce

    Smashing Windows: Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Intersectional Feminism, and Black Empowerment

    Never shy about her political stance, Beyonce openly endorsed candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, making clear her belief that the future is female. Her album Lemonade, which Beyoncé produced the same year and complemented with powerful video content, illustrates her feminist stance through explicitly political, but also personal references. One of the most memorable scenes from Lemonade…

  • Unpacking the Layers of Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined

    When visitors step into the Whitney’s first-floor gallery, which currently houses Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined, they risk forgetting that they are standing in a museum. There is a softness to the space that distances it from the rest of the building, its warm lighting and the pink color of the walls evoking a feeling of intimacy that is…

  • Glenn Ligon

    The Usable Past

    The Usable Past: “The concept that a self-conscious examination of historical figures, moments, and symbols can shape current and future political formation.”[1] This is how the Whitney defines the title of one of five galleries in their ongoing permanent collection exhibition An Incomplete History of Protest. The works in the gallery present memory and nostalgia as both powerful and yet…

  • Now Dig This! and the Ken Johnson Controversy: A Case For Pluralism in 20th Century Art History

    Ken Johnson’s controversial review of Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, currently on view at MoMA PS1 through March 11, has become nothing less than an art world scandal, sparking a deluge of denouncements from readers, an open-letter and petition against the New York Times backed by prominent artists, critics and art historians, and even an attempted…