Younger Than Jesus’: Made by Generation Why
BY BLAKE GOPNIK
NEW YORK — It’s said that new art reflects new times. If that’s true, what could be a better mirror on our troubled days than a huge survey of the latest art by the latest crop of artists? You couldn’t ask for a more thorough pulse-taking than you get in “Younger Than Jesus,” the show now filling all four floors of the New Museum’s stylish home on the Bowery. It presents 124 works by 50 artists, all 33 or younger, from 25 countries, selected from a 500-name shortlist submitted by an international panel of experts. It’s the first in a planned series of triennials the museum calls “The Generational.”
Members of the generation in “Younger Than Jesus” are often known as the millennials, and there’s something truly end-of-days about the art that represents them in this show. The survey’s title is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but it also feels like it’s getting at something: There is a sense of waiting, of stasis, of breath-holding that reminds me of the way things are supposed to have felt in Judea in A.D. 27 — in the moment, that is, just before a new Messiah came in view to sort things out.