2017 Whitney Biennial Co-Curator Responds To 'Open Casket' Controversy
Not in recent memory has a single painting caused such controversy and furor in the contemporary art world as Dana Schutz's 'Open Casket' (2016), part of New York's current Whitney Biennial. The portrait focuses on the disfigured corpse of Emmett Till, murdered in 1955 at age 14 by a Mississippi lynch mob after conflicting stories about whistling -- or 'worse' according to suggestive innuendos in court testimony -- at a white woman.
The two Biennial creators Christopher Lew and Mia Lockshave also become the target of criticism, and Artnet New's editor-in-chief Andrew Goldstein spoke to Lew about the controversy.
It's easy to forget that there are 62 other artists in the Whitney Biennial with all the controversy around 'Open Casket'. Referencing the dynamic playing out in the summer of 2016, when final curatorial decisions were being made for the Biennial, Goldstein summarizes America's mindset: Read on.