Peter Schjeldahl on Pao Houa Her at the Whitney

Pao Houa Her, Untitled (Tais Kai), 2017

Reviewing Quiet as It’s Kept for the New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl dubs the “startlingly coherent and bold” 2022 edition of the Whitney Biennial as “exciting without being especially pleasurable—geared toward thought.”

He writes of Pao Houa Her’s contribution to the exhibition, works that “both document and poeticize her Hmong family and community in North America”:

There are fifty-two of the images, and none too many. The sense of an intricately braided history, unfolding in the present while irradiated by memory, left me with an appetite for still more. Such gestation in personal testimony, distanced aesthetically, is another frequent tone of the show.