The Whitney Biennial in New York City is a significant exhibition of important contemporary art in this country. Like its counterparts in other communities, the Whitney exhibition showcases the talents of curators (those who select and present the art) and artists who are starting new threads in the visual arts conversation.
This year the artist Ellen Harvey was included in the Whitney Biennial. One recurring theme of Harvey’s work is the exploration of the interplay between art and different environments. In one work of art she installs mirrors on a set of windows that are etched to portray the scene outside invaded by rampant nature as if the city had been abandoned. In another set of pieces, she used chalk to incorporate the appearance of beautiful carpets on the surface of the grey sidewalks in an urban environment. Her work outside of the gallery walls helps us see what was there before and question our acceptance of things that lack the visual vitality of color, pattern, and decorative life giving. We are forced to ask why we accept the harsh mediocrity of so many city landscapes.