NYC - The Whitney: Left, Right, Left, Right
Left, Right, Left, Right
Annette Lemieux (b. 1957)
Left, Right, Left, Right consists of thirty photolithographs—three copies each of ten images—which Annette Lemieux appropriated from journalistic sources dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, printed on thick museum board, and mounted on wooden sticks that lean against a wall. Each picture depicts a raised fist, some belonging to famous political and cultural figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Nixon, Jane Fonda, and Miss America. Others are anonymous—for example, the fists of a sailor or a preacher. The images and their protest-sign format suggest a demonstration. But the object of grievance remains unspecified, and even the very activity of protesting is called into question. Several of the images are flipped, so that the same fist appears raised in opposing directions, and the use of photographs from various decades injects difference into what appears on first glance to be a unified front. While demonstrations are often framed in the black-and-white terms implied by the work’s title (“left, right”), Lemieux indicates that protests—and the political and ideological issues that occasion them—are more complex, encompassing contradictions and opposing views.
The Whitney Museum of American Art, known informally as the "Whitney", was founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), a wealthy and prominent American socialite and art patron. The museum focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American art, with a permanent collection that comprises more than 21,000 pieces by more than 3,000 artists.
The Whitney occupied a modernist Upper East Side building from 1966 through 2014 before relocating to its current home, a nine-story, 200,000-square-foot Renzo Piano-designed building at 99 Gansevoort Street, in May 2015.