October 8, 2019

David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards to Curate 2021 Whitney Biennial

NEW YORK—The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York announced today that David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards will co-curate the eightieth edition of the Whitney Biennial, which will open in the spring of 2021. Breslin has served as curator and head of the Whitney’s collection since 2016 and was recently appointed as the museum’s inaugural director of curatorial initiatives. Edwards is the museum’s curator of performance. Prior to joining the curatorial staff in 2018, she worked as a curator of Performa and as curator at large for the Walker Art Center.

“David and Adrienne truly represent the best spirit and ideals of the Whitney,” said Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s senior deputy director and chief curator. “Not only are they devoted to—and beloved by—living artists, but they bring to the art of our time a deep historical and scholarly awareness. The most recent editions of the biennial have reaffirmed its vitality and relevance, and I look forward to discovering how another pair of Whitney curators will lend their voices to our signature exhibition.”

Adam D. Weinberg added: “The central aim of the biennial is to be a barometer of contemporary American art. Each biennial is a reflection of the cultural and social moment as it intersects with the passions, perspectives, and tastes of the curators. David and Adrienne will be a great team. They are inquisitive, curious, and are acutely attuned to the art of the current moment. No doubt they will bring fresh outlooks to this historic exhibition and reinvent it for these complex and challenging times.”

Since the biennial was initiated by founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, it has changed formats—it was originally organized by medium and in 1937 became an annual exhibition from 1973—and showcased the work of more than 3,600 contemporary artists. The 2019 edition, which is still partially on view until October 27, was curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley and featured seventy-five artists and collectives.

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