The Whitney Biennial has been postponed from the spring of 2021 until 2022, the Whitney Museum of American Art says, citing complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic and the institution’s long shutdown.
The biennial, an avidly awaited event that takes the temperature of the art world and mirrors critical social and political currents, is now scheduled for April through August of 2022.
Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s senior deputy director and chief curator, told The New York Times that the pandemic had disrupted planning for the biennial and had also hampered the work of artists by limiting access to studio space and tools needed to create their art. “We wanted to make sure artists had the space and time they needed to do their best work,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. The pandemic also complicated efforts by curators to travel to artists’ studios to view their art.
The museum reopened on 3 September after shutting its doors for five and a half months in response to the coronavirus.
The Whitney has released a revised exhibition schedule for 2020-21 that includes the first solo museum show devoted to Salman Toor, deferred until 13 November; Nothing Is So Humble: Prints From Everyday Objects, 20 November; Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, 21 November; and public art projects by David Hammons, Andrea Carlson and Martine Gutierrez, planned for completion in November, February 2021 and September 2021.
Other highlights include deferred exhibitions devoted to Julie Mehretu, opening on 19 March 2021; Dawoud Bey, 17 April 2021; and Jasper Johns, 29 September 2021.