The Whitney Biennial is usually controversial and sometimes negatively reviewed, but this longest-running survey of American Art is always the most talked about museum show of the season, and generally is a good barometer with which direction the art world is heading. Whitney curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, have been visiting artists over the past year in search of “the most important and relevant work” and the 2019 show features 75 artists from around the world. Performance and film will all be key components this year, joining painting, sculpture, and photography. I’m curious to see how the political waves, environmental crises, and social issues will be displayed in this collection. On a blistering hot day, this air-conditioned institution makes the perfect escape; grab an audio tour, and dive in; it runs through Sept. 22.
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Ganesvoort St., Meatpacking District.