The Whitney Biennial Homes In on American Precariousness

Uh Oh, Look Who Got Wet (2019), Janiva Ellis’s contribution to the latest biennial exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is a painting of a border: fence, river, palm trees, storm on the horizon, and figures making their treacherous way across. The landscape—something of a departure for Ellis, who often paints surrealist portraits—captures a woman, partially dressed, carrying a child as she wades through the stream at a break in the fence. With a third hand, the woman is...

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