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Whitney Museum Names Curators for 2010 Biennial

NEW YORK.- The Whitney Museum of American Art announced today that Francesco Bonami will curate the 2010 Whitney Biennial, in collaboration with the Whitney’s Gary Carrion-Murayari, who will be associate curator. This will be the 75th in the series of Whitney Annual and Biennial exhibitions inaugurated in 1932 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

The next Biennial, the Museum’s signature survey of contemporary American art, goes on view at the Whitney in March 2010. The list of selected artists will be announced in late 2009 or early 2010.

Bonami, 53, an internationally known curator who was the first United States citizen selected to direct the Venice Biennale, in 2003, brought Rudolf Stingel to the Whitney in 2007, a show he organized for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where he was Manilow Senior Curator from 1999 to 2008. He was involved with the 2006 Whitney Biennial, serving as a juror for that year’s Bucksbaum Award. Carrion-Murayari, 28, is a senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney. He is co-curator of “Progress” (on view at the Museum through January 4, 2009) and is organizing the upcoming exhibition Elad Lassry: Three Films. He curated Television Delivers People at the Whitney in 2007.

In naming the curators with Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Associate Director of Programs, said, “Francesco brings with him a wealth of expertise and a distinctive point-of-view filtered through his experiences both institutionally and as an independent curator, in the US and abroad. Gary introduces a different perspective, a window into another generation. We are eager to see what this collaboration yields, the pairing of a seasoned curator with a young talent in the field. In its effort to synthesize the current states of contemporary art in the United States, the Biennial is always a stimulating process for the Whitney. We believe it will continue to inspire a passionate response among all who care or are curious about the art of our time.”

Bonami commented, “I’m delighted and honored to have been appointed curator of the 2010 Whitney Biennial and to work again at this essential American museum. I’m intrigued by the concept of what is American, and how we define American-ness. Unlike other contemporary art surveys, the Whitney Biennial offers a kind of freedom in its specificity and focus on American art. This sort of limitation can be an interesting challenge. On an exhibition like the Biennial, it’s important to work with someone who has a different perspective from one’s own, so I am looking forward to collaborating with Gary—we have already worked together at the Whitney, and I’m sure our partnership will be productive.”

Carrion-Murayari noted, “I am thrilled to have been selected to work on the 2010 Biennial and am eager to collaborate with Francesco, a curator I admire deeply. I’m looking forward to an exciting dialogue between us, with plenty of thoughtful debate. It’s a huge honor to contribute to the creation of the next Biennial, always one of the most anticipated events in contemporary art.”

About the Curators

Francesco Bonami - Francesco Bonami, born in Florence in 1955 and a US citizen since 2001, was the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago from 1999 to 2008. Since 1995 he has served as the artistic director of the Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo per l'Arte in Turin, and also as artistic director, since 1997, of Pitti Immagine Discovery in Florence. From 2004 to 2008 he was artistic director of the Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea in Passariano. Bonami was the first US citizen to be appointed to the prestigious position of Director of the International Art Exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennale, in 2003, at which he curated the exhibition Dream & Conflicts. He was a consulting curator for the Arte Povera exhibition organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Tate Modern in London.

At the MCA in Chicago, Bonami curated and coordinated many exhibitions including: Rudolf Stingel; Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye; Fiona Tan: Correction; Hiroshi Sugimoto: Architecture; People See Paintings; Giuseppe Gabellone; and Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture. He was the American editor of Flash Art from 1990 to 1997. His curatorial appointments include: LOVE/HATE, from Magritte to Cattelan: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago for the Villa Manin in Passariano, Italy; Manifesta 3 in Ljubliana, Slovenia; Aperto 93 at the Venice Biennale; Tradition and Innovation: Italian Art since 1945 for the National Museum of Seoul; the second Site Santa Fe Biennial; Campo '95; Campo 6; L.A. Times and Common People at the Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo per l'Arte in Torino, Italy; Vertical Time at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York; Yesterday Begins Tomorrow at the Bard College for Curatorial Studies; Unfinished History at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the MCA; and Examining Pictures at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and the MCA. Bonami curated The Fourth Sex: The Extreme People of Adolescence and Uniform: Order and Disorder for Pitti Immagine in Florence and P.S.1/MoMA in New York, and Chain of Visions: Family, Religion and Politics in the New Generation of Italian Art for the Hara Museum in Tokyo, in collaboration with the Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo. Most recently he curated Italics: Italian Art Between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008, which is currently at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice; it will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in the summer of 2009.

Gary Carrion-Murayari - Born in Mt. Kisco, New York, in 1980, Gary Carrion-Murayari, a senior curatorial assistant at the Whitney, has worked in the Whitney’s curatorial department since 2003. In 2007, he curated Television Delivers People, which gathered together video works from the 1970s and 80s as well as more recent examples, examining the relationship between television and the viewer; the show included works by Alex Bag, Dara Birnbaum, Joan Braderman, Keren Cytter, Kalup Linzy, Richard Serra, Michael Smith, and Ryan Trecartin. With Donna De Salvo, he co-curated the current exhibition “Progress,” on view through January 4, 2009; the show features a selection of works from the Whitney’s collection from the late 1920s to the present and includes such artists as Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, and Paul Sietsema. He was involved in organizing the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennials and worked alongside Francesco Bonami and Chrissie Iles on the installation of Rudolf Stingel, as well as on numerous other Whitney exhibitions.

Carrion-Murayari is curating the upcoming Whitney exhibition Elad Lassry: Three Films, the first New York museum exhibition for the Los Angeles-based artist who works in both photography and film; it opens on January 22, 2009. He is also working on Sites, with Carter Foster, the Whitney’s curator of drawings, which opens February 19. Carrion-Murayari has written for Flash Art, Domus, and a number of Whitney publications, and is the author of Rudolf Stingel at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (Hatje Cantz). He has a BA from Colgate University.

The Bucksbaum Award - During the course of the 2010 Biennial, the sixth Bucksbaum Award will be given, marking its tenth anniversary. Endowed by Whitney trustee Melva Bucksbaum and her family, The Bucksbaum Award is given every two years in recognition of an artist, chosen from those included in the Biennial, whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and imagination. The selected artist is considered to have the potential to make a lasting impact on the history of American art, based on the excellence of past work as well as present work in the Biennial. In addition to receiving a $100,000 grant, each Bucksbaum laureate is invited to present an exhibition at the Whitney, sometime within the succeeding two years. The award’s previous recipients are Omer Fast (2008), Mark Bradford (2006), Raymond Pettibon (2004), Irit Batsry (2002), and Paul Pfeiffer (2000).

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