Detail of Marc Camille Chaimowicz's Basel Sequence, 2011

Witnessing the Whitney Museum

The new Whitney Museum at the heart of Meatpacking District
The new Whitney Museum at the heart of Meatpacking District

Long before the new Whitney Museum opened, I was invited to an aftershow party by Diane Von Furstenberg at the premises. Just a block away from her own headquarters, Diane invited friends and journalists to the second floor of the building, which at that time was just a platform - no windows, no floors, just the view of the Hudson river and that magnificent skyline of New York.


Franz Kline, Mahoning, 1956

In the meantime, the new Whitney opened and I visited twice. A first time when 'American Modern' was on view and I got to see some of the art works that have kept me happy for years: some Hopper, some O'Keeffe, some Mapplethorpe.

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Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930

Last week, I went back to the Whitney Museum to just walk around and take in my favourite works of art again. Needless to say, I came across works that I missed on my first tour. I also took in that incredible view of the city from almost every single floor.


One of the terraces of the Whitney Museum

Architect Renzo Piano did a hell of a job. Each and every floor feels open and airy, and has a view. What always surprizes me in an American museum is the fact that each and every room has been paid for with private money. That there is no such thing as a ministry of culture, handing out gifts each and every year. Also telling: so many people lining up each and every day, to come in, at 22 Dollars a person... So good to see that art is still popular.


Lee Krasner, The Seasons, 1957

The bookstore is great. One of the books I bought is the one on the Whitney Women, telling the story of how the Whitney started out from the art collection of just one person: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Oh, before I forget. I had lunch at the Whitney's restaurant, Untitled. I sat at the bar (my favourite spot everywhere) and had the most fantastic food, surrounded by happy people who all had just enjoyed a moment of bliss. Because that is exactly what art does to people. It gives courage or solace and uplifts one's mood. I certainly couldn't do without.


Inside the Whitney's restaurant Untitled hangs this artwork by Robert Indiana