Born Athlete American: Laurie Hernandez I

Artist: Jeanette Mundt
painting | Oil and glitter on canvas | 1270x1524mm | 2018

Jeanette Mundt based her paintings on New York Times photo composites of the members of the 2016 gold medal–winning U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, combining multiple images of the moments that solidified their victories. Alluding to Eadweard Muybridge’s nineteenth-century motion studies—which captured simple human and animal movements through series of consecutive photographs—Mundt renders the gymnasts’ routines as a sequence of successive frames condensed into a single composition, fragmenting their bodies as they tumble and flip through the air. By disrupting the regimented temporality of the original photos in this way, she hints at the complex systems—nationalist, sexist, and technocratic—underpinning the Olympics, the sport of gymnastics, and the media covering them. Not long after Mundt began this series, which she continues to work on, news broke that the USA Gymnastics national team doctor sexually abused many young gymnasts, including the women who appear here. (Image courtesy the artist and Société, Berlin. Based on a 2016 series of graphics by The New York Times)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)