The 2019 Whitney Biennial Artist List: By the Numbers - Recent News from USA
The 2019 Whitney Biennial Artist List: By the Numbers -

The 2019 Whitney Biennial Artist List: By the Numbers –

Brendan Fernandes, The Master and Form, 2018, performance view.


On Monday, the Whitney Museum in New York revealed the artist list for its 2019 Whitney Biennial, which will run from May 17 to September 22. Some 75 artists and collectives are included; the majority of the participants are artists of color, according to the Whitney. To find out more about those showing in the exhibition, which is curated by Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta, ARTnews crunched the numbers. Our findings follow below.

75: The number of artists participating in the biennial’s 2019 edition. That’s a bit more than the 2017 edition, which had 63 artists.

50: The percentage of artists who use she/her pronouns. This is a marked increase over the preceding Whitney Biennial, where 25 out of 63 artists—about 40 percent—were women.

Laura Ortman, My Soul Remainer (still), 2017, high-definition video, color, sound, five minutes, 44 seconds.


20: The number of artists who are younger than Jesus. (Meaning younger than 33.) In a statement on Monday, Panetta said the 2019 Whitney Biennial trends younger because “so many artists we encountered are struggling and facing fewer opportunities to present their work publicly.”)

0: The number of artists in the 2019 Whitney Biennial who were in the 2009 New Museum exhibition “Younger Than Jesus.”

5: The number of collectives included. Among them is Forensic Architecture, a group led by Eyal Weizman that was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2018.

5: The number of artists in the 2019 Biennial who also participated in a past edition. One of them is Nicole Eisenman, and it is certainly not her first time at the rodeo—she also showed in the 1995 and 2012 Whitney Biennials, making this her third outing at the show. The others who’ve shown at a previous Whitney Biennial are Sam Green, James Luna, Carissa Rodriguez, and Barbara Hammer.

Barbara Hammer, History Lessons (still), 2000, 16mm film, color, sound, 66 minutes, 51 seconds.


2: The number of Miami-based artists participating this time around. That already means that there are more artists from that city than any of the past four Whitney Biennials, each of which had exactly zero Miami-based artists. That absence became a flashpoint at the last Whitney Biennial as a result of a New York Times report on the matter.

38: The number of artists included in the show that are based, at least part of their time, in New York. By contrast, just eight artists call Los Angeles home.

11: The number of artists with residences outside the United States.

Rujeko Hockley (left) and Jane Panetta (right).


16: The number of artists born outside the U.S. Four of those artists hail from Africa.

4: The number of artists represented by Company Gallery, of New York. Company’s artists in the show are Barbara Hammer, John Edmonds, Troy Michie, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden, which means that nearly half of its entire roster is showing at the Whitney Biennial. Not too far behind them is New York’s 47 Canal gallery, which has three artists—Janiva Ellis, Josh Kline, and Elle Pérez—at the 2019 edition. (At the 2017 edition, 47 Canal also had three artists.)

1: The number of artists who are no longer living. That is James Luna, who died at the age of 68 in 2018.

0: The number of artists officially announced for the main exhibition at the 2019 Venice Biennale. (Despite La Biennale opening to the public six days before the Whitney’s show! Hurry up, Ralph Rugoff!)

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