Skip to main content
  • Source: W Magazine
  • Author: Stephanie Eckardt
  • Date: March 16, 2017
  • Format: DIGITAL

The Millenial Biennial:

Meet the 20 -Something Artists of the 2017 Whitney Biennial

Torey Thornton, What Is Sexuality, Is The Scale Infinite Similar To A Line, 2017. Collection of the artist; courtesy of Morán Morán, Los Angeles. Photograph by Bill Orcutt

It hasn’t even opened to the public yet, but there’s a lot to talk about with the 2017 Whitney Biennial: It’s the first in the museum’s new downtown, Renzo Piano-designed home, the first in 20 years to coincide with a presidential election, and, thanks to its 30-something curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks, one of the riskiest and most in-touch editions of the survey yet. With young curators usually comes a young crop of emerging talent—and these six artists and collectives really do stand out among the 63 included in the survey. Meet the 20-somethings making their mark alongside heavy hitters like Larry Bell and Dana Schutz before the show opens on Friday, here.

Torey Thornton, b. 1990

Nail polish, mattresses, roadside rocks, and enormous industrial saw blades are just some of the unexpected materials the Brooklyn-based artist Torey Thornton has turned to recently for his signature blend of sculpture and painting. Born in Macon, Georgia, Thornton graduated from Cooper Union in 2012 and has shown his work in group exhibitions at the likes of the Studio Museum—and stuck to the same collage-like approach to tackle themes like gender and intimacy ever since.