NEW YORK, NY
Adrienne Edwards has been named Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the
Whitney Museum of American Art
, where she will begin working in May. Edwards has served as curator of Performa since 2010 and as Curator at Large for the Walker Art Center since 2016.
Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked: “Adrienne has distinguished herself as one of the most innovative curators working in performance today by engaging artists across diverse disciplines and often challenging them to explore new genres and experimental forms. She brings to the Whitney a wonderful complement of scholarly rigor, social commitment, and a deeply humane understanding of artists and their audiences.”
Edwards remarked: “There could not be a more vital institution or more important time to foster artists’ cross-boundary work, as well as explore the histories and scenes that inspire them. The Whitney has long been a leading institution for artists’ experimentation in vanguard performance. I look forward to further expanding and driving forward this rich legacy in collaboration with colleagues, artists, and audiences in new and exciting directions.”
For Performa, Edwards realized new interdisciplinary projects with a wide range of artists, including Performa Commissions by Edgar Arceneaux, Yto Barrada, Juliana Huxtable, Rashid Johnson, Laura Lima, Julie Mehretu and Jason Moran, Wangechi Mutu, and Tracey Rose, in addition to projects and productions by Jonathas de Andrade, Chimurenga, Teju Cole, Kwani Trust, Benjamin Patterson, Pope.L, Ralph Lemon, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Adam Pendleton, Dave McKenzie, Yvonne Rainer, Will Rawls, and Carrie Mae Weems. She developed and organized special thematic presentations within the biennial, including “AFROGLOSSIA” (Performa 17), “Babylon Brazil” (Performa 15), and “Three Duets, Seven Variations” on the occasion of the New York tour of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (Performa 13). Edwards also oversaw Performa’s institutional partnerships and co-commissioning relationships with Anthology Film Archives, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
At the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, over the course of the past two years, Edwards has worked within the Walker’s visual arts department developing and implementing artist projects and exhibitions, and expanding interdisciplinary scholarship and research while making key contributions to the Walker’s acquisitions planning. She is currently organizing Jason Moran’s first-ever monograph and museum show, which will go on view at the Walker April 26 through August 19, 2018, and will then travel to the ICA Boston and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Included will be a new sculpture commission, a stage commission created in collaboration with Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, and monthly gallery performances. Edwards also co-led a Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Initiative, a multi-year effort to curate, produce, document, and contextualize new models of working between the visual and performing arts. She co-organized the current permanent collection exhibition, I am you, you are too.
Other curatorial projects have included the critically acclaimed exhibition and catalogue Blackness in Abstraction, hosted by Pace Gallery in 2016. The show featured works in photography, painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation by twenty-nine international and intergenerational artists; one third of the artworks were newly commissioned. Edwards is also organizing Frieze’s Artist Award and Live program, both of which are debuting in New York in 2018.
In addition to writing essays for numerous exhibition catalogues, Edwards has been a contributor to a variety of art publications, including Aperture, Art in America, Artforum.com, Parkett, and Spike Art Quarterly.