Human Interest
Audio Guide Playlist

Listen to commentary by artists and scholars on selected works in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection, including Thelma Golden, K8 Hardy, Byron Kim, Deana Lawson, and Joan Semmel.

Narrator: The work you see here, by R.H. Quaytman, isll part of a larger group of paintings, each of which the artist considers "a chapter."  The chapters relate to the place where the work will first be shown. This one was first shown in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, which took place in the Upper East Side museum designed by Marcel Breuer. Quaytman’s work hung next to one of the building’s distinctive windows.

R. H. Quaytman: Because I really have always loved those Breuer windows. And they also refer to a concept I use a lot in my work, which is pushing the picture plane back into one point perspective.

And then I started thinking about just the history of the Whitney. And I went to the library. I did some research on Breuer, the collection. In the end, I just saw this painting of the Hopper, Woman in the Sun. And I've always just really admired this painting a lot because I felt that the woman in it was very powerful and authoritative, and you wonder what she's thinking more than you wonder how she looks. And also to me [it] is the quintessential Whitney collection painting.

Narrator: Quaytman photographed a friend and colleague next to the Breuer window, in a composition that strongly recalls the Hopper painting. Quaytman then silkscreened the image onto gessoed wood panels. 

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