Whitney Doesn’t Woo….

Andy Warhol, Before and After 1962
Andy Warhol, Before and After 1962

Before and After by Andy Warhol exemplifies the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

Whitney Museum
Whitney Museum

The outside is stunning and much improved, but the inside is sterile.

Lobby of the Whitney
Lobby of the Whitney

Another day bombarded with incredible stimulation.

High Line from the Whitney
High Line from the Whitney

The Whitney Museum of American Art just opened in its’ new home with a river view and around the corner from the start of the intoxicating High Line.

George Tooker, 'The Subway"
George Tooker, ‘The Subway” 1950

The Whitney is the world’s leading museum for American 20th century and contemporary art. Founded by sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum first opened in 1931 in Greenwich Village.

George Segal, 'Walk, Don't Walk' 1976
George Segal, ‘Walk, Don’t Walk’ 1976

The new location and exterior are impressive, the interior not so much.

Alexander Calder, 'Circus'
Alexander Calder, ‘Calder’s Circus’ 1926-31

I must admit the overall Whitney permanent collection is not amongst my favorite. I do admire their special exhibitions. The Jeff Koons, which closed out the old Whitney on Madison Avenue and 75th Street, was fabulous.

Jackson Pollack
Jackson Pollack

I had high hopes for the Renzo Piano edifice. I was a bit letdown, but clearly people are flocking to the museum. I arrived on an incredible spring day about 30 minutes before opening. The line was forever.

Claus Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg, ‘Giant Fagends’ 1967

I am not a patient person so I inquired about wait time. The museum opens at 10:30am and a Whitneyette guesstimated a minimum of a 30 minute wait.

I prodded and discovered that if you reside anywhere in the United States, but New York, you qualify for a national membership which is $50. Regular admission is $22. There is no sponsored free day like they have at MOMA on Fridays or pay what you like at the MET.

Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O’Keefe

I quickly made my way inside and scooped up a national membership…no waiting in line.

Carroll Dunham, 'Large Bather" 2006-12
Carroll Dunham, ‘Large Bather” 2006-12

I was meeting a friend and at the same time purchased a ticket for her and we made our way through the Whitney, taking the huge express elevator to the top (8th) floor and working our way down.

Freedom Tower from the Whitney Balcony
Freedom Tower from the Whitney Balcony

The outdoor balconies offer amazing views of the Freedom Tower, the Hudson River, the High Line and the Empire State Building. Overall, I enjoyed the views of Manhattan more than the bounty of artwork.

Empire State Building from Whitney Balcony
Empire State Building from Whitney Balcony

There are some impressive pieces in the opening exhibit, America Is Hard To See, which runs through September 27th. The title is from a poem by Robert Frost.

One drawback for me is that the many artworks in the middle of the galleries are difficult to identify. The information plaque is scattered about. The museum should place the label next to the sculpture…patrons were continually on the hunt.

Mark Bradford, 'Bread and Circuses' 2007
Mark Bradford, ‘Bread and Circuses’ 2007

Over 600 works are on display, examining the history of art in the U.S. from the 20th century to the present.

Whitney Balcony
Whitney Balcony

From there we strolled the quaint, picturesque west village cobblestone streets, paying  homage at Christian Louboutin and Urban Zen, the Donna Karan store celebrating artisanal treasures and the Urban Zen lifestyle. A percentage of the store’s profits benefit Karan’s, Urban Zen Foundation, the public charity she founded in 2008 to support the preservation of culture, the empowerment of children and integrative healthcare.

The space was her late husband artist, Stephan Weiss’s, studio. It is definitely worth a drive by…peaceful, tranquil and impressive with artistic pieces from Haiti. All Haitian purchases go 100% to Haiti relief.

Santina Restaurant
Santina Restaurant

It was lunchtime and we had a hard to get reservation at Danny Meyer’s, Untitled Restaurant, in the Whitney. It was very warm inside and for some unknown reason, outside dining is only for drinks and snacks. We passed and scooted over to Santina, right around the corner.

Squash Carpaccio
Squash Carpaccio

I reviewed Santina two weeks ago. The food was stellar. The squash carpaccio outstanding along with Branzino crudo, arugula fig and homemade fusilli Santina. We had requested our courses staged and a surly server screwed up. No big deal, but before we knew it, the chef had sent over a to die for octopus spiedini.

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We then headed to our 2pm scheduled appointment at the pop up Chanel exhibit, No 5 In A New Light, celebrating the iconic 94 year-old fragrance as well as introducing the new, Eau Premiere, the modern interpretation of No. 5.

Chanel Show
Chanel Show

Your senses literally guide you through darkened rooms where you discover the layers of Creation, Cultivation, Composition, Abstraction and Revelation of the world’s first modern fragrance by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel.

Gabrielle Chanel
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel

We waited in line with some gorgeous male models. Where’s Courtny…this setting has to beat the shit out of bars, match.com and tinder.

Chanel Selfie Board
Chanel Selfie Board

The show was visually stunning. A shout out to the marvelous Kim for the invite.

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We then proceeded to walk home from the Meatpacking district.

Another amazing day in New York. Activities on this day would equal a month’s worth of entertainment in Los Angeles, but who’s complaining or comparing.

Onward!

John Chamberlain
John Chamberlain

Whitney Museum of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street New York Open daily, but Tuesday at 10:30am.

Urban Zen 705 Greenwich Street, New York City.

Santina Restaurant 820 Washington Street, New York City.

Marisol, 'Women and Dog' 1963-4
Marisol, ‘Women and Dog’ 1963-4

One Comment

  1. Love the George Tooker painting, I don’t remember seeing it in the old location. Thanks for posting all the pics of the new Whitney, I can’t wait to see it in person.

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