The Whitney Museum announced today that Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley will co-curate the 2019 Whitney Biennial. The curators are both current members of the Whitney’s staff and are “two of the most compelling and engaged curatorial voices of the moment,” according to a statement from the Whitney’s chief curator, Scott Rothkopf.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating on the forthcoming biennial, particularly at such an historic juncture in our country and our world,” Panetta and Hockley said in a statement.
Panetta joined the Whitney in 2010 and has curated solo presentations by Willa Nasatir and MacArthur “Genius” Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Hockley, who was came to the museum in March, co-curated the highly acclaimed Brooklyn Museum show “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85.” At the Whitney, she has so far co-curated “Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined,” as well as the ongoing group show “An Incomplete History of Protest.”
The news comes at the end of a year that was marked by controversies, with the Whitney’s own 2017 Biennial ranking high among them. Despite earning almost unanimous praise, the show set off a media maelstrom around Dana Schutz‘s painting of Emmett Till, Open Casket. The work sparked an open letter calling for its removal and destruction, followed by protests and widespread division within the art world.
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