Dawoud Bey at the Whitney: Great Art, Nice Show, Book’s the Dregs

Dawoud Bey, A Young Man Resting on an Exercise Bike, Amityville, NY, 1988. Pigmented inkjet print (printed 2019), 30 x 40 in. (76.2 x 101.6 cm); Frame: 41 1/8 x 50 1/8 x 2 1/8 in. (Collection of the artist; courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago; and Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco. © Dawoud Bey.) The catalogue is part of the exhibition, guys, and this one falls short.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE L ast week, I ended my story on the Whitney by noting how crappy its catalogue for Dawoud Bey: An American Project is. I said I’d write about the show and book before it closed, as I’m headed to Los Angeles for museum visits. It’s unfair to say something’s a flop and not explain why until some later point. So, greetings from Los Angeles, and one more story on the Whitney.

Dawoud Bey is a wonderful artist. He’s a mid-career master photographer, making work every few years that’s new, challenging, and moving, yet part of a coherent trajectory. He’s based in Chicago

(Collection of the artist; courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Stephen Daiter Gallery,

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