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Robert Arneson, Whistling in the Dark, 1976

Robert Arneson, Whistling in the Dark, 1976, Glazed terracotta, 34 1/4 × 21 1/4 × 21 15/16 inches.

Image courtesey the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Robert Arneson is included in a group exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950-2019 surveys how artists have explored craft in their respective practices over the past seven decades. Stemming from the museum's permanent collection, the works included in the exhibition challenge and expand upon ideas of abstraction, popular culture, feminist and queer aesthetics, and relationships to identity and place.

On view in the exhibition is Arneson's 1976 Whistling in the Dark, a major self-portrait from the 1970s. He described his mindset behind the work during a lecture in 1979: “…You get in a state where you’re in between knowledge and confusion and then I saw [myself]… you know kind of whistling and trying to figure out what I was gonna do and I said well that must be it.” This work by Arneson is on view alongside works by over sixty artists such as Ron Nagle, Richard Shaw, and Viola Frey, through February 2022.

More information here.