Advance Exhibition Schedule

2019 Whitney Biennial
May 17 – September 22, 2019

The Whitney Biennial is an unmissable event for anyone interested in finding out what’s happening in art today. Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley have been visiting artists over the past year in search of the most important and relevant work. Featuring seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound, the 2019 Biennial takes the pulse of the contemporary artistic moment. Introduced by the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Biennial is the longest-running exhibition in the country to chart the latest developments in American art.

The 2019 Whitney Biennial is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator, with Ramsay Kolber, curatorial project assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art. The 2019 Whitney Biennial is presented by Tiffany & Co., lead sponsor of the Biennial through 2021.

The Whitney's Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965
June 28, 2019 – 

This exhibition, drawn entirely from the Whitney’s collection, weaves its way through American art history by looking at formative movements, revisited and reimagined genres, and the achievements of single artists. The Whitney Museum of American Art was established in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, an artist and benefactor, to advocate on behalf of living American artists. The collection Whitney assembled with the Museum’s first director, Juliana Force, was art-historically rigorous and vibrantly idiosyncratic. Taking its cue from this history, the presentation begins with selections from the Museum’s founding collection, and then examines—largely chronologically—art historical movements including Precisionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop; the genres of landscape and fantasy; and the singular contributions of, among others, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jacob Lawrence. In addition to galleries dedicated to icons of the collection, including Alexander Calder’s Circus and Edward Hopper, the exhibition also features more recent acquisitions, including Norman Lewis’s American Totem (1960). The exhibition looks at how singular artistic acts, placed in dialogue with others, help us to see the varieties of the American experience, pasts that need further study, and futures that are in the process of being made.

This exhibition is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, with Margaret Kross, curatorial assistant, and Roxanne Smith, curatorial assistant.

Jason Moran
September 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020

The boundary-bursting artist Jason Moran grounds his practice in the composition of jazz, bridging the visual and performing arts through spellbinding stagecraft. Heralded as one of the country’s leading jazz innovators, Moran transmutes his personal experience of the world into dynamic musical compositions that challenge the formal conventions of the medium. His experimental approach to art-making embraces the intersection of objects and sound, pushing beyond the traditional in ways that are inherently theatrical. This exhibition, the artist’s first solo museum show, presents the range of work Moran (b. 1975, Houston, TX) has explored, from his own sculptural pieces to collaborations with visual artists to performances. Among the many artists with whom Moran has collaborated are Joan Jonas, Kara Walker, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Carrie Mae Weems, Adam Pendleton, Theaster Gates, Julie Mehretu, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. Originating in Minneapolis at the Walker Art Center in the spring of 2018, the show has traveled to the ICA Boston and will next be seen at the Wexner Center before its final stop at the Whitney. This grand finale in Moran's hometown will feature many performances by renowned jazz musicians and new live adaptations of works made with his most significant artistic collaborators. Moran was included in the Whitney Biennial 2012, together with Alicia Hall Moran, for which they created a five-day performance residency, BLEED.

Jason Moran is organized by the Walker Art Center, and curated by Adrienne Edwards with Danielle A. Jackson. The Whitney’s presentation is overseen by Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant.

Order and Ornament: Roy Lichtenstein's Entablatures
Opens September 27, 2019 –

This exhibition presents a diverse array of works on paper from Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures series, ranging from never-before-exhibited photographic studies and sketchbooks that initiated the series in the early 1970s to his technically experimental prints that form the culmination of the series in 1976. The first exhibition at the Whitney devoted to the artist since the transformative gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection, this presentation provides a focused look at a single pivotal series, highlighting Lichtenstein’s unique processes and inventive techniques across drawings, prints, photographs, and archival materials.

This exhibition is organized by David Crane, curatorial fellow.

Pope.L: Choir
October 10, 2019 – Winter 2020

For almost four decades, Pope.L (b. 1955) has challenged us to confront some of the most pressing questions about American society as well as about the very nature of art. Best known for enacting arduous and provocative interventions in public spaces, Pope.L addresses issues and themes ranging from language to gender, race, social struggle, and community. His boundary-breaking practice ranges from performance to painting, installation, video, sculpture, and theater. Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration is a trio of complementary exhibitions organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and Public Art Fund. Utilizing both public and private spaces, the expansive presentation will address many elements of the artist’s oeuvre from seminal early works, to a monumental new installation, and a new performative work inspired by the artist’s iconic crawl series on the streets of New York City.

At the Whitney, where Pope.L received the 2017 Bucksbaum Award, the artist will create a new installation entitled Choir. Expanding on Pope.L’s ongoing exploration and use of water, Choir is inspired by the fountain, the public arena, and John Cage’s conception of music and sound.

The Whitney presentation is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.

Rachel Harrison Life Hack
October 25, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Rachel Harrison’s first full-scale survey will track the development of her career over the past twenty-five years, incorporating room-size installations, autonomous sculpture, photography, and drawing. The breadth of art history, the impurities of politics and celebrity culture, and the strangeness of history coalesce in Harrison’s complex works, in which readymades collude with invented forms. The Whitney’s exhibition will include approximately 100 works spanning the early 1990s to the present, drawn from private and public collections throughout the world. The catalogue will feature essays by Maggie Nelson, Alexander Nemerov, Darby English, and Johanna Burton.

Organized by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and David Joselit, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York, with Kelly Long, curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation
October 25, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation presents four works in video, sound, print, and augmented reality that invoke place from an Indigenous perspective. The artist—who is Kanyen'keha:ka (Mohawk), a member of one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy—traverses local landscapes and temporalities in his art, treating geographical sites as archives and exploring territory typically bypassed in American history and largely absent from American memory.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is Wolf Nation (2018), an immersive video installation recently acquired for the Whitney’s permanent collection, and premiering are two augmented reality works, which can be accessed through an interactive app that visitors are invited to download on their devices.

This exhibition is organized by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant.

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019
November 22, 2019 – January 2021

Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019 foregrounds how visual artists have explored the materials, methods, and strategies of craft, beginning with works made after World War II when many artists embraced fiber arts and ceramics to challenge the dominance of traditional painting and sculpture. Over the next seven decades, artists have continued to explore techniques such as weaving, sewing, or pottery, and experimented with textiles, thread, clay, and beads, among other mediums. These works speak to artists’ interests in domesticity, hobbyist materials, the decorative, vernacular American traditions, “women’s work,” and feminist and queer aesthetics. By employing marginalized modes of artistic production, they challenge the power structures that determine artistic value.

Drawn primarily from the Whitney’s collection, the exhibition will encompass over eighty works by more than sixty artists, including Ruth Asawa, Eva Hesse, Mike Kelley, Liza Lou, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine Reichek, and Lenore Tawney, as well as featuring new acquisitions by Shan Goshorn, Kahlil Robert Irving, Simone Leigh, Jordan Nassar, and Erin Jane Nelson.

This exhibition is organized by Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, with Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.

fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad
January 15 – February 16, 2020

In fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad, an untitled work by Darren Bader (b. 1978) stands alone in the Museum’s eighth floor galleries. Fresh fruits and vegetables—“nature’s impeccable sculpture,” according to Bader—are presented as formal objects on pedestals. Before over-ripening, the produce is removed from the pedestals by museum staff. It is then chopped, sliced, shaved, and diced into a salad, which is served to visitors. The artwork is then refreshed with a new selection of fruits and vegetables.

The exhibition is organized by Christie Mitchell, senior curatorial assistant.

Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945
February 17 – May 17, 2020

The radical cultural transformation Mexico undertook at the end of its Revolution in 1920 established a new relationship between art and the public, giving rise to an art that spoke directly to the people about social justice and national life. The model galvanized artists in the United States who were seeking to break free of European aesthetic domination and create a publicly significant and accessible native art. Numerous American artists traveled to Mexico, and the leading Mexican muralists—José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—spent extended periods of time in the United States, where they executed murals, paintings, and prints, exhibited their work, and interacted with local artists. With approximately 250 works by eighty Mexican and American artists, this exhibition will demonstrate the impact Mexican artists had on their counterparts in the United States during this period and the ways in which their example inspired American artists to create epic narratives about American history and everyday life and to use their art to protest economic, social, and racial injustices.

The exhibition is organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist
March 13 – June 21, 2020

Agnes Pelton (1881–1961) was a visionary symbolist who depicted the spiritual reality she experienced in moments of meditative stillness. Art for her was a discipline through which she gave form to her vision of a higher consciousness within the universe. Using an abstract vocabulary of curvilinear, biomorphic forms and delicate, shimmering veils of light, she portrayed her awareness of a world that lay behind physical appearances—a world of benevolent, disembodied energies animating and protecting life.  For most of her career, Pelton chose to live away from the distractions of a major art center, first in Water Mill, Long Island, from 1921 to 1932, and subsequently in Cathedral City, a small community near Palm Springs, California. Her isolation from the mainstream art world meant that her paintings were relatively unknown during her lifetime and in the decades thereafter. This exhibition of approximately forty-five works introduces to the public a little-known artist whose luminous, abstract images of transcendence are only now being fully recognized.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is organized by the Phoenix Art Museum, and curated by Gilbert Vicario, The Selig Family Chief Curator. The installation at the Whitney Museum is overseen by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant.

Julie Mehretu
June 26 – September 20, 2020

This midcareer survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) covers more than two decades of the artist’s examination of painting, history, geopolitics, and displacement. Including approximately 30 paintings and thirty-two works on paper dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition presents the most comprehensive overview to date of Mehretu’s practice and her explorations of abstraction, architecture, landscape, scale, and, most recently, figuration.

Julie Mehretu is co-organized by the Whitney and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator at the Whitney.

Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop
July – October 2020

Working Together is an unprecedented exhibition that chronicles the formative years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963. The word “Kamoinge” (Kikuyu for “a group of people acting together”) reflects the ideal that animated the collective. In the early years, at a time of dramatic social upheaval, members met regularly to show and discuss each other’s work and to share their critical perspectives, technical and professional experience, and friendship. Deeply committed to photography’s power as an art form, they boldly and inventively depicted their communities as they saw and participated in them, rather than as they were often portrayed. This presentation includes approximately 140 photographs by fifteen of the early members: Anthony Barboza, Adger Cowans, Daniel Dawson, Roy DeCarava, Louis Draper, Al Fennar, Ray Francis, Herman Howard, Jimmie Mannas, Herb Randall, Herb Robinson, Beuford Smith, Ming Smith, Shawn Walker, and Calvin Wilson. The photographs provide a powerful and poetic perspective of the 1960s and 1970s during the heart of the Black Arts Movement.

Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop is organized by Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The installation at the Whitney is overseen by Carrie Springer, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986
July – October 2020

As a prelude to the unveiling of David Hammons’s Day’s End, the Whitney will present a selection from the Museum’s permanent collection related to the seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture: Gordon Matta-Clark’s Day’s End. The exhibition will feature approximately fifteen artists, including Joan Jonas, Dawoud Bey, Alvin Baltrop, Jimmy Wright, and Martha Rosler, along with Matta-Clark, who worked in the overlapping downtown New York milieu of the 1970s and early 1980s and whose work embodies an idea of artistic intervention into the urban fabric of New York City.

This exhibition is organized by Laura Phipps, assistant curator, with Christie Mitchell, senior curatorial assistant.

Dawoud Bey
Opens November 2020

The Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art are planning the first full-scale retrospective of Dawoud Bey’s career. A 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Bey is recognized as one of the most innovative and influential photographers of his generation. Beginning with his earliest body of work, Harlem, USA, which was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979, Bey has worked primarily in portraiture, making tender and direct portrayals of Black teenagers; documenting his community; and rendering African American history in a form at once lyrical and immediate. Since the beginning of his career, Bey has used his camera to represent communities and histories that have largely remained underrepresented or even unseen. He sees making art as not just a kind of personal expression but as an act of social and political responsibility, emphasizing the necessary work of artists and art institutions to break down obstacles to access, convene communities, and open dialogue.

The exhibition is co-organized by Corey Keller, curator of photography at SFMOMA, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator at the Whitney.

Jasper Johns
Opens Fall 2020

Jasper Johns has spent his seven-decade career redefining the mediums in which he has worked. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career across the two museums simultaneously that will feature painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, books, costumes, and set design.

Inspired by the artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the two parts of the exhibition will reflect one another, presenting themes, methods, and images that reappear throughout both shows. Together and individually, the venues will offer viewers an immersive and innovative exploration of the artist’s fundamental working logic, as it devotes attention to the many phases, facets, and masterworks of Johns’s ongoing evolution.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The organizing curators are Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art.