Here’s some rather big news on an otherwise sleepy Wednesday afternoon: the Whitney Museum has tapped Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks to organize the 2017 Whitney Biennial, which will be the first edition of the closely watched exhibition to be held in its new Meatpacking District home.
Lew joined the Whitney last year as an associate curator from MoMA PS1, where he had been an assistant curator. Locks herself was an assistant curator at MoMA PS1 from 2013 until very recently, and was part of the crew that organized that museum’s hotly debated Greater New York exhibition, which opened last month. Prior to that, she worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.
“The two of them have great intellectual chemistry,” Scott Rothkopf, the museum’s deputy director for programs and chief curator, said in a statement released to press, “and it’s exciting to see the first Biennial in our new home in the hands of such talented young curators.”
At the Whitney, Lew has so far organized toothsome shows by New York upstarts Jared Madere and Rachel Rose. At PS1, Locks’s curatorial credits included the recent, very handsome exhibition of works by Math Bass and a barnburner of an installation by Samara Golden.
Intriguingly, the Whitney also announced that Rothkopf will lead an advisory team that includes Negar Azimi, a senior editor at Bidoun; Gean Moreno, the artistic director of Miami arts nonprofit Cannonball; Aily Nash, a film curator; and Wendy Yao, a publisher and bookseller who helped start Ooga Booga and 356 Mission in Los Angeles.