The queue lasted from dawn until way after dusk on the first day of public
From the outside, the Renzo Piano-designed building has a clunky feel, more
like a factory than a showcase for some of the national artistic timeline of passion, strife, concepts and yes, beauty.
Inside, it’s a different matter altogether. Some 18,000 square feet under soaring industrial ceilings allow provide plenty of space for works and the visual breathing space that saves your brain from overload.
This initial exhibition, America is Hard to See, showcases the Whitney’s vast collection in way that has rarely been seen, with realistic works from Alice Neel and Edward Hopper, abstraction from Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko, the poetic commentary of Jean-Michel Basquiat and expressive gesture of Willem de Kooning. And, this being America, plenty of political opinion.
But the art outside is as powerful…and not just the sculptures installed on the 13,000 square feet of terraces. The views — over the High Line, through the Meat Packing District, up to the Empire State Building, along the Hudson and across a sea of roof gardens to the tip of Manhattan — are a different kind of testament to America’s history, ingenuity and strength.