Advance Exhibition Schedule
Salman Toor: How Will I Know
November 13, 2020—April 4, 2021
For his first museum solo exhibition, Salman Toor (b. 1983; Lahore, Pakistan) presents new and recent oil paintings. Known for his small-scale figurative works that combine academic technique and a quick, sketchlike style, Toor offers intimate views into the imagined lives of young, queer Brown men residing between New York City and South Asia. Recurring color palettes and references to art history heighten the emotional impact of Toor’s paintings and add a fantastical element to his narratives drawn from lived experience. Taken as a whole, Toor’s paintings consider vulnerability within contemporary public and private life and the notion of community in the context of queer, diasporic identity.
Salman Toor: How Will I Know is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, and Ambika Trasi, curatorial assistant.
Nothing Is So Humble: Prints From Everyday Objects
November 20, 2020—Spring 2021
“Bones, lint, Styrofoam, banana skins, the squishes and squashes found on the street: nothing is so humble that it cannot be made into art.” With these evocative words, artist Sari Dienes described an expansive approach to artmaking that recognized aesthetic possibilities in the most mundane of subjects. This exhibition, drawn from the Whitney’s collection, looks at the creative and irreverent ways that seven artists—Ruth Asawa, Dienes, Pati Hill, Kahlil Robert Irving, Virginia Overton, Julia Phillips, and Zarina—have employed the everyday objects around them to make prints.
Although they bring distinct sensibilities and intentions to their work, the artists in this presentation share an unconventional approach to printmaking. Rather than mark a metal plate or carve into a block of wood, they have worked directly with the stuff of their environments: making a rubbing from a maintenance hole cover, photocopying a hairbrush, running nylon stockings through an etching press, even pressing a slice of prosciutto onto a printing plate. These objects offer formal inspiration and also carry meaning for the artists, who memorialize their personal associations through the act of printing. The resulting impressions—at once precise and abstracted—capture intimate views of their commonplace sources that teeter between recognizable and elusive. By making visible what might otherwise be overlooked, these works transform ordinary encounters into poetic and poignant accounts of our world.
Nothing Is So Humble: Prints from Everyday Objects is organized by Kim Conaty, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings and Prints.
Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop
November 21, 2020—March 28, 2021
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” (Gikuyu 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 focuses on the influential work of early Kamoinge members during the first two decades of the collective. It includes approximately 140 photographs by members: Anthony Barboza, Adger Cowans, Daniel Dawson, 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, with Mia Matthias, curatorial assistant.
Through painting and drawing, Andrea Carlson (b. 1979, Grand Portage Ojibwe) brings visibility to Native spaces and histories while examining the legacy of colonial suppression and the erasure of Indigenous cultures. Alongside her multidisciplinary projects, she creates highly intricate, graphic works on paper that take the form of imaginative land and seascapes overlaid with a range of motifs—some drawn from her Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) ancestral home, and others from effigy mounds, petroglyphs, museum objects, modern art, and cannibal exploitation films.
In recent prints and mural-size compositions, the artist's abstracted images coalesce into expansive, disorienting panoramas that suggest futuristic and, at times, apocalyptic worlds. Through a unique fusion of symbolism and storytelling, Carlson's work reclaims narratives around Westernization and Indigenous experience in North America.
Organized by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art, Carlson’s work will be featured on the façade of 95 Horatio Street, across the street from the Whitney and the High Line. Andrea Carlson is the latest work in a series of public art installations that has featured works by key American artists, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2015–2016), Do Ho Suh (2017–2018), Christine Sun Kim (2018), and Derek Fordjour (2018–2019).
Andrea Carlson is organized by Melinda Lang, senior curatorial assistant.
David Hammons: Day's End
Day’s End, a public art project by the immensely influential New York-based artist David Hammons (b. 1943), derives its inspiration and name from Gordon Matta-Clark's 1975 artwork in which he cut five openings into the original Pier 52 shed. Developed in collaboration with the Hudson River Park Trust, Hammons’s artwork will be an open structure that follows the precise outline, dimensions, and location of the original shed—a ghost version of the original building. Like Matta-Clark's work, it will offer an extraordinary place to experience the waterfront and view the sunset. Affixed to the shore on the south edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, the structure will extend over the water, employing the thinnest possible support system. It will appear evanescent and ethereal, seeming to shimmer and almost disappear, changing with the light of day and atmospheric conditions. Hammons’s Day’s End also alludes to the history of New York’s waterfront—from the heyday of its shipping industry to the reclaimed piers that became a gathering place for the gay community. Open to everyone, the artwork will allow easy access to the river's edge.
March 25—August 8, 2021
This mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), co-organized by the Whitney and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), covers over two decades of the artist’s career and presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. Featuring approximately forty works on paper and more than thirty paintings dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition includes works ranging from her early focus on drawing and mapping to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, saturated color, and figuration. The exhibition will showcase her commitment to interrogating the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations alongside themes of migration, revolution, climate change, and global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Filling the Whitney’s entire fifth floor gallery, the exhibition will take advantage of the expansive and open space to create dramatic vistas on Mehretu’s often panoramic paintings.
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, with Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator at the Whitney.
Madeline Hollander: Flatwing
March 25—August 8, 2021
This first solo museum exhibition by artist, dancer, and choreographer Madeline Hollander (b.1986) features a new video installation Flatwing and related works on paper. Hollander’s work is inspired by the everyday movement patterns that she observes in our social, urban, technological, and natural environments, which she transforms into site-specific installations and performances.
Flatwing (2019), Hollander’s first video installation, explores the emergence of silent crickets in Kauai, Hawaii, and the imminent extinction of their chirping rivals due to rising global temperatures. The film guides the viewer through her surreal expedition through Kauai’s cacophonous rainforest nightscape, and Hollander’s futile attempt to record the movements of this mute, yet active new species. Ventriloquizing their fellow cricket’s chirp by rubbing their wings together, the silent crickets create a kind of choreography of survival. The video installation is accompanied by a display of drawings, diagrams, and research materials created by the artist in the process of making the film.
Madeline Hollander: Flatwing is organized by Chrissie Iles, Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, with Clémence White, senior curatorial assistant.
Dawoud Bey: An American Project
Opens April 17, 2021
Dawoud Bey (b. 1953) is recognized as one of the most innovative and influential photographers of his generation. Since the beginning of his career, Bey has used his camera to visualize communities and histories that have largely remained underrepresented or even unseen. Starting with his earliest body of work Harlem, USA (1975–79), Bey has worked primarily in portraiture, making direct and psychologically resonant portrayals of socially marginalized subjects. The exhibition includes his early portraits of Harlem residents, large-scale color Polaroids, and a series of collaborative portraits of high school students, among others. Two recent bodies of work, The Birmingham Project (2012) and Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2017), render African American history in forms at once lyrical and immediate. He sees making art as not just a kind of personal expression but as an act of social and political engagement, working in and with art institutions to break down obstacles to access, to convene communities, and to open dialogue.
Dawoud Bey: An American Project is co-organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is co-curated by Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator at the Whitney, and Corey Keller, curator of photography at SFMOMA.
Dave McKenzie: The Story I Tell Myself
Opens May 1, 2021 (Exhibition)
May 1—June 13, 2021 (Performances)
Dave McKenzie (b. 1977; Kingston, Jamaica) draws inspiration for his new Whitney commission, Disturbing the View, from the entrepreneurial window washers common in many American cities. McKenzie choreographs a circuitous path around the Museum using the building’s facade as a canvas and obscuring individual windows. As he progresses the artist inserts himself into the Museum’s daily rhythms, at times visible or hidden from sight, momentarily disrupting the view and prompting observers to consider essential labor that is often invisible. Performance dates to be announced.
This performance is accompanied by Dave McKenzie: The Story I Tell Myself, a focused presentation on the Museum’s third floor in which McKenzie’s performances for the camera and documentation of live art are contextualized alongside works by artists who have informed the concepts, gestures, and sensibilities in his art. Together the performance commission and exhibition span twenty years of McKenzie’s creative output, illuminating both the seriousness of play in his artmaking and how he engages with and questions ideas, images, and language using his principal tool—his own body.
Dave McKenzie: The Story I Tell Myself is organized by Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Mia Matthias, curatorial assistant.
Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror
September 29, 2021—February 13, 2022
Jasper Johns (b. 1930) is arguably the most influential living American artist. Over the past sixty-five years, he has produced a radical and varied body of work marked by constant reinvention. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career simultaneously across the two museums, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, many shown publicly for the first time. Inspired by the artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the two halves of the exhibition will act as reflections of one another, spotlighting themes, methods, and images that echo across the two venues. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and immersive exploration of the many phases, facets, and masterworks of Johns's still-evolving career.
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.
September 2021—March 2022
Performance artist Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989) draws from an eclectic range of media to document her artistic metamorphosis into various imagined roles. Culling from the languages of fashion, film, and advertising, the artist references each industry's visual imagery while subverting the conventions still pervasive in commercial image making. Acting as subject, artist, and muse, Gutierrez meticulously creates editorial and cinematic montages, captured through photography and videos, that challenge public perceptions of identity from the intersection of gender, beauty, race, and class.
Organized by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art, Martine Gutierrez is the latest work in a series of public art installations that has featured works by key American artists, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2015–2016), Do Ho Suh (2017–2018), Christine Sun Kim (2018), and Derek Fordjour (2018–2019).
Martine Gutierrez is organized by Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator.
Opens October 22, 2021
For two decades, the members of My Barbarian—Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade—have used performance to theatricalize social issues, adapting narratives from modern plays, historical texts, and mass media into structures for their performances.
On the occasion of their twentieth anniversary, My Barbarian will present a two-part survey of their work. One part will reimagine iconic shows representative of the trio's array of theatrical styles through a series of live performances, including a play, a festival, a cabaret-style concert, and a rehearsal-as-performance. These will be complemented by an exhibition that traces the history of the group's work through video performances and documentary footage, as well as sculptures, paintings, drawings, masks, and puppets drawn from their extensive archive.
To celebrate My Barbarian's creative output, the Whitney has commissioned Rose Bird, which will be composed, directed, and performed by the trio. This performance for the camera will be created in homage to the first female chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird, a controversial figure due to her opposition to the death penalty—a sentence she repeatedly overturned during her decade-long tenure. Working with a variety of texts, Rose Bird will reimagine scenes from her biography as a teleplay and appropriate the media reports that framed both her personal life and work.
My Barbarian is organized by Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Mia Matthias, curatorial assistant.
2022 Whitney Biennial
The Whitney Biennial was introduced in 1932 by the Museum's founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Established to chart developments in art of the United States, it is the longest-running exhibition of its kind. To date, more than 3,600 influential and innovative artists have participated in a Whitney biennial or annual. A constellation of the most relevant art and ideas of our time, the 2022 exhibition will be the Biennial's eightieth edition.
The 2022 Whitney Biennial is co-organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Margaret Kross, senior curatorial assistant.