New York Magazine on the New Whitney Museum of American Art
Jerry Saltz & Justin Davidson
19 April 2015

The Whitney decided to bust out of the Upper East Side in part because the administrators and board craved a powerful new exhibition tool. They got what they wanted: something big, wired, and tough, with galleries that convert from unbroken floors to intimate vestibules — the last word in versatility. Artists can string sculptures up from the ceiling, gouge the recycled-pine floors, and dazzle drivers below. The $422 million building is engineered to absorb punishment, move crowds, and adapt to whatever insanity future creators can dream up. A concrete spine (containing elevators and stairs) joins two volumes, their work spaces and galleries squared up as if to point out that art, even old art, is always a work-in-progress. The public will mostly see the downtown half’s exhibition spaces; the uptown side is where conservators, curators, and administrators will all work so close to the art that they can refresh themselves with a peep at a Rothko anytime.

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