Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Biennial 2019 is on view from May 17 - September 22, 2019
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Exhibition Information

Whitney Biennial 2019

Member Previews: May 14 - 16
On view: May 17 - September 22


Exhibition History

The Whitney Biennial began as an annual exhibition in 1932, the first biennial was in 1973. The Whitney show is generally regarded as one of the leading shows in the art world, often setting or leading trends in contemporary art. It helped bring artists like Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock and Jeff Koons to prominence.

Whitney Biennial Archive Portal

Curatorial Statement

Below is a portion of the curatorial statement. Read full statement here

Key issues and approaches emerge across the exhibition: the mining of history as a means to reimagine the present or future; a profound consideration of race, gender, and equity; and explorations of the vulnerability of the body.

Concerns for community appear in the content and social engagement of the work and also in the ways that the artists navigate the world.


Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley

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). Prior to joining the Whitney, Panetta spent several years in the Museum of Modern Art’s Painting and Sculpture Department. Panetta is a member of Madison Square Park’s Public Art Consortium.

Rujeko Hockley joined the Whitney’s staff as an assistant curator in March 2017. Hockley also serves as a member of the Museum’s Emerging Artist Working Group. Previously, Hockley was assistant curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum. Hockley serves on the Board of Art Matters, as well as the Advisory Board of Recess.

To Consider

According to Artforum, this year’s Whitney Biennial will dealing not only with the country’s political climate, but also, the museum’s current political and social situations, listed below:

Whitney vice-chairman Warren B. Kanders is the chief executive of Safariland—a defense manufacturer that supplies law enforcement with equipment ranging from body armor to tear gas.

Whitney’s staff has penned an internal letter expressing outrage at Kanders’s involvement with the museum and made several demands, including that the institution reconsider Kanders’s leadership position and the development of guidelines for selecting trustees.

Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz withdrew from the biennial on December 18 due to the museum’s affiliation with Kanders.

In January, W.A.G.E., a New York–based activist group, issued an invitation to all artists chosen to participate in the biennial, asking them to withhold their works in solidarity with the museum’s staff and to demand compensation for their labor. The Whitney responded by paying the exhibitors $1,500—the amount was suggested by W.A.G.E.—for their participation.

Decolonize This Place launched nine weeks of protests beginning March 22, 2019, calling for removal of Kanders from the museum's Board. These protests involved banners, singing, projections on the building, and potlucks and teach-ins in the museum lobby.



75 artists participating. Artists are listed in alphabetical order:

Eddie Arroyo
Lives in Miami, FL

Korakrit Arunanondchai
Lives in New York, NY and Bangkok, Thailand

Olga Balema
Lives in New York, NY

Morgan Bassichis
Lives in New York, NY

Blitz Bazawule
Lives in New York, NY

Alexandra Bell
Lives in New York, NY

Brian Belott
Lives in New York, NY

Meriem Bennani
Lives in New York, NY

Robert Bittenbender
Lives in New York, NY

Lucas Blalock
Lives in New York, NY

Garrett Bradley
Lives in New York, NY

Milano Chow
Lives in New York, NY

Colectivo Los Ingrávidos
Founded 2011 in Tehuacán, Mexico

Thirza Cuthand
Lives in Toronto, Ontario

John Edmonds
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Nicole Eisenman
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Janiva Ellis
Lives in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA

Kota Ezawa
Lives in Oakland, CA

Brendan Fernandes
Lives in Chicago, IL

FIERCE and Paper Tiger Television
FIERCE: Founded 2000 in New York, NY
Paper Tiger Television: Founded 1981 in New York, NY

Marcus Fischer
Lives in Portland, OR

The Flaherty
Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys. All live in New York, NY

Forensic Architecture
Founded 2010 in London, United Kingdom

Ellie Ga
Lives in Stockholm, Sweden

Nicholas Galanin
Lives in Sitka, AK

Sofía Gallisá Muriente
Lives in San Juan, PR

Jeffrey Gibson
Lives in Germantown, NY

Todd Gray
Lives in Los Angeles, CA and Akwidaa, Ghana

Sam Green
Lives in New York, NY

Barbara Hammer
Lives New York, NY

Ilana Harris-Babou
Lives in Williamstown, MA and Brooklyn, NY

Matthew Angelo Harrison
Lives in Detroit, MI

Curran Hatleberg
Lives in Baltimore, MD

Madeline Hollander
Lives in New York, NY

Iman Issa
Lives in Berlin, Germany and New York, NY

Tomashi Jackson
Lives in New York, NY and Cambridge, MA

Steffani Jemison
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Christine Sun Kim
Lives in Berlin, Germany

Josh Kline
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Autumn Knight
Lives in New York, NY

Carolyn Lazard
Lives in Philadelphia, PA

Maia Ruth Lee
Lives in New York, NY

Simone Leigh
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Daniel Lind-Ramos
Lives in Loíza, PR

James Luna
Born 1950 in Orange, CA. Died in 2018

Eric N. Mack
Lives in New York, NY

Calvin Marcus
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Tiona Nekkia McClodden
Lives in Philadelphia, PA

Troy Michie
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Joe Minter
Lives in Birmingham, AL

Keegan Monaghan
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Caroline Monnet
Lives in Montreal, Quebec

Darius Clark Monroe
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Ragen Moss
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Sahra Motalebi
Lives in New York, NY and Delaware County, NY

Marlon Mullen
Lives in Rodeo, CA

Jeanette Mundt
Lives in Somerset, NJ

Wangechi Mutu
Lives in Brooklyn, NY and Nairobi, Kenya

Las Nietas de Nonó
Lydela Nonó and Michel Nonó both live in Carolina, PR

Jenn Nkiru
Lives in London, United Kingdom

Laura Ortman
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Jennifer Packer
Lives in New York, NY

nibia pastrana santiago
Lives in San Juan, PR

Elle Pérez
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Pat Phillips
Lives in Pineville, LA

Gala Porras-Kim
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Walter Price
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Carissa Rodriguez
Lives in New York, NY

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Heji Shin
Lives in New York, NY

Diane Simpson
Lives in Wilmette, IL

Martine Syms
Lives in Los Angeles, CA

Kyle Thurman
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Mariana Valencia
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

Agustina Woodgate
Lives in Miami, FL and Amsterdam, the Netherlands



The Tear Gas Biennial (Artforum, July 17)

Mapping the Whitney Biennial (The New York Times, July 5)

What the Whitney Biennial Tells Us About the Future of Photography—and the Artists Who Will Shape It (Artnet News, July 3)

Whiteness must undo itself to make way for the truly radical turn in contemporary art (The Art Newspaper, July 2)

What this year’s Whitney Biennial says about contemporary American art (PSB News Hour, June 28)

Jeffrey Gibson at the Whitney Biennial (Cultural Survival, June 10)

How Do Artists Get Into the Whitney Biennial? (Hyperallergic, June 9)

Probing the Proper Grounds for Criticism in the Wake of the 2019 Whitney Biennial (Hyperallergic, June 7)

Who Has the Most Artists in the Whitney Biennial? These Non-Blue-Chip Galleries Represent More Than a Quarter of the Show (Artnet News, May 30)

This Year’s Whitney Biennial Is the Youngest in Over a Decade—and Other Takeaways From Our Analysis of the Exhibition’s History (Artnet News, May 29)

The Exciting Native American Film Program at This Year’s Whitney Biennial (Hyperallergic, May 28)

The Whitney Biennial Homes In on American Precariousness (The Atlantic, May 26)

Whitney Biennial 2019: Self, society, tear gas: the museum surveys current American art (4Columns, May 24)

Forensic Architecture Says Warren Kanders Is One Part of a Web of Possible War Crimes in Gaza (Hyperallergic, May 27)

Laura Ortman Has One of the Standout Works of the Whitney Biennial. Her Inclusion Was a Surprise Even to Her (Artnet News, May 23)

Forensic Architecture’s Documentary on Kanders Doesn’t Absolve the Whitney Museum (Hyperallergic, May 22)

A Buyer’s Guide to the Whitney Biennial: What You Need to Know About the Exhibition’s Brightest Rising Stars (Artnet News, May 22)

The 2019 Whitney Biennial Is Unafraid to Be Beautiful (Frieze, May 20)

The 2019 Whitney Biennial Shows America’s Artists Turning Toward Coded Languages in Turbulent Times (Artnet News, May 20)

After a Protest at the 2019 Whitney Biennial Opening, Activists March to Warren Kanders’s Townhouse (Hyperallergic, May 18)

An “Alternative Museum Guide” Explains the Kanders Controversy to Whitney Biennial Visitors (Hyperallergic, May 17)

Michael Rakowitz Discusses Withdrawing from the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and His Leonard Cohen Problem (Hyperallergic, May 17)

The Whitney Biennial: Young Art Cross-Stitched With Politics (The New York Times, May 16)

Indigenous Womxn’s Collective stages protest inside 2019 Whitney Biennial (Hyperallergic, May 16)

Whitney Biennial Artists Share Mood Boards for Their Works (The Vulture, May 16)

Critique of Inequality Is Aimed in All Directions at the 2019 Whitney Biennial (Observer, May 15)

Whitney Biennial Review: Still Protesting, but to What End? (The Wall Street Journal, May 15)

The Apprehensive Politics of a Generation Surface at the 2019 Whitney Biennial (Hyperallergic, May 15)

The new Whitney Biennial made me see art history in a new way (Jerry Saltz for New York Magazine, May 14)

The Whitney Biennial takes on the American Dream (Cultured, May 14)

Take a virtual tour of the Whitney Biennial with photos of artworks by all of the artists in the 2019 exhibition (Artnet News, May 14)

Soft power: The Whitney Biennial is an elegant but safe portrait of right now (ARTnews, May 13)

Whitney Biennial aims to focus on artists but—as protests mount—it cannot escape politics (The Art Newspaper, May 13)

For Whitney Biennial, one participant targets controversial Whitney patron (ARTnews, May 13)

Initial thoughts and highlights from the 2019 Whitney Biennial (Hyperallergic, May 13)

Talking houses, wet photographs, and white noise: A few highlights from the 2019 Whitney Biennial (ARTnews, May 13)

Forensic Architecture’s project at Whitney Biennial reveals museum Vice Chair’s company may be complicit in war crimes (Hyperallergic, May 13)

A Tour of the 2019 Whitney Biennial in 20 photos (ARTnews, May 13)

‘We were seeing and feeling anxiety’: The Whitney Biennial curators on how artists’ struggle with debt and real estate shaped the 2019 show (Artnet News, May 13)

Money, Ethics, Art: Can museums police themselves? (The New York Times, May 9)

The Whitney Museum launches digital resource for past biennials (Hyperallergic, April 19)

Newcomers bristling with hope (The Wall Street Journal, April 18)

An artist’s work revisits the racist coverage of the Central Park Five (The New Yorker, April 17)

Artists announced for the 2019 Whitney Biennial, opening on May 17 (Biennial Foundation, Feb. 27)

The 2019 Whitney Biennial artist list: by the numbers (ARTnews, Feb. 26)