What does it mean to be American? In its “Where We Are” exhibit, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art attempts to grapple with this timely debate by showcasing iconic works collected by the museum between 1900 and 1960, as well as more recent acquisitions, all by American artists.
There are photographs by PaJaMa (collaborative works by Paul Cadmus, Jared French and Margaret French) depicting gay relationships, and works that pay tribute to African American women by Elizabeth Catlett, and paintings by Edward Hopper that reveal how the home structures interior lives. Other pieces by the likes of Diane Arbus and Jasper Johns examine icons that symbolize America, in an attempt to define a common narrative for this most diverse of world nations.
Oil on linen, 40 × 40 1/8in. (101.6 × 101.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art,
New York; gift of Andy Warhol 74.117
© 2017 The Estate of Fairfield Porter/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY
34 1/4 × 46 1/16in. (87 × 117 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;
purchase 33.26. With Permission of The Herman Trunk, Jr. Foundation