The Whitney Museum of American Art announced that the 2019 Whitney Biennial will be co-curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, members of the Museum’s curatorial staff. The Whitney’s signature survey of the current state of contemporary art in the U.S., the Biennial goes on view in May 2019.
In announcing the selection of the curators, Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, said: “Jane and Ru are two of the most compelling and engaged curatorial voices of our moment, with broad and sensitive instincts for artistic and cultural relevance. They are both passionate champions of emerging artists, while their more scholarly projects have shown keen insights about making history feel alive in the present. I’m delighted to see two more Whitney curators put their mark on our signature exhibition.”
« We are thrilled to be collaborating on the forthcoming Biennial, particularly at such an historic juncture in our country and in our world, » Hockley and Panetta commented. « We are excited about the work emerging out of this complex moment and are honored to continue the Biennial’s long tradition of engaging with the most compelling artists, issues, and questions of our time.”
Jane Panetta is an associate curator at the Whitney; she joined the Museum’s curatorial department in 2010. Most recently at the Whitney, Panetta has organized solo presentations of the work of Willa Nasatir (2017) and Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2015–16) and the group exhibition Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s (2017), in addition to co-curating Mirror Cells (2016) with Christopher Y. Lew.
Rujeko Hockley joined the Whitney’s staff as an assistant curator in March 2017 from Brooklyn Museum, where she was assistant curator of contemporary art. There she co-curated We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 (2017) with Catherine Morris which is now on view at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles through January 14. Since her arrival at the Whitney, she has co-curated Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determinedwith Melinda Lang (currently on view at the Museum through February 25, 2018) and An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017 with David Breslin and Jennie Goldstein (on view now until summer 2018).
The 2019 Whitney Biennial will be the 79th in the Museum’s series of Annual and Biennial exhibitions, inaugurated in 1932 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and is presented by Tiffany & Co, lead sponsor of the Biennial through 2021.