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Installation view of Raúl De Nieves, beginning & the end neither & the otherwise betwixt & between the end is the beginning & the end, 2016. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Collection of the artist; courtesy Company Gallery, New York. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.
Installation view of Raúl De Nieves, beginning & the end neither & the otherwise betwixt & between the end is the beginning & the end, 2016. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Collection of the artist; courtesy Company Gallery, New York. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.
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The Whitney Museum Teams Up with Tiffany & Co.

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 17 March 2017
The 78th edition of the Whitney Biennial opened the morning of March 17 to ubiquitously positive reviews, with the work of 63 contemporary artists culminating in an impactful exhibition of refreshing sincerity. The 2017 Biennial sponsor, Tiffany & Co., has teamed up with five participating artists to offer a series of limited-edition products for sale in the museum shop and at Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th avenue.

Alongside the Whitney Biennial, one of New York City’s most anticipated contemporary art events, Tiffany & Co. has put $5 million towards a limited number of pieces specially created by five participating artists for the Whitney’s shop and Tiffany’s flagship location in Midtown Manhattan.

Carrie Moyer, a Brooklyn-based painter with a vibrant oeuvre, designed a silver pendant inspired by her collages.

Carrie Moyer, Glimmer Glass, 2016. Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 96 x 78 in. (243.8 x 198.1 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York
Carrie Moyer, Glimmer Glass, 2016. Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 96 x 78 in. (243.8 x 198.1 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York

Raúl de Nieves, who boasts an arresting mixed media installation at the Biennial, forged a silver box.

Brooklyn-based artist Shara Hughes sculpted and hand-painted china pitchers.

Shara Hughes, In The Clear, 2016. Oil, acrylic and dye on canvas, 68 x 60 in. (172.7 x 152.4 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Rachel Uffner, New York
Shara Hughes, In The Clear, 2016. Oil, acrylic and dye on canvas, 68 x 60 in. (172.7 x 152.4 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Rachel Uffner, New York

Ajay Kurian, whose mixed media installation Childermass hangs in the Whintey’s staircase, crafted a sterling silver card holder titled Modern Secrets.

Installation view of Ajay Kurian, Childermass, 2017. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.
Installation view of Ajay Kurian, Childermass, 2017. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.

Mixed media artist Harold Mendez created five almost traditional Tiffany vessels—except for the Colombain death mask inspired by an artifact in a Medellín museum at each center. The artist reported to The New York Times that he visited a Tiffany workshop in Rhode Island where silver-polishing wheels and an old iridescent tea caddy advertised in a back-issue catalog got him thinking.

Installation view of Harold Mendez, These deeds must not be thought after these ways; so, it will make us mad, 2017. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.
Installation view of Harold Mendez, These deeds must not be thought after these ways; so, it will make us mad, 2017. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 13-June 11, 2017. Photograph by Matthew Carasella.

In all, product prices range from $2,500 up to $10,000.

The New York Times points out that the founder of Tiffany & Co., Charles Lewis Tiffany, “was a[n original] trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the company later enlisted such artists as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg in collaborations.” Thus art is integral to Tiffany’s origins.

Partnering with the Whitney, a powerful institution with its finger long on the pulse of contemporary art in America, affords Tiffany & Co., an icon of extreme luxury which could, in turn, be interpreted as old-world conservative, the opportunity to reassert itself as a pioneering brand.