In announcing the 2020 timeline for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the museum, noted that “In 2020, the Whitney will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary and fifth year downtown, so we created a program that truly honors the spirit of artistic innovation past and present. We remain focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, while finding relevant relevance in 20th century historical research. Also at age ninety, Jasper Johns ends the year with an unprecedented retrospective that will reveal this American legend like never before to a new generation of audiences.”
On February 17, the Whitney opens the exhibition “American Life: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945“, an important historical look at the transformative impact of Mexican artists on the direction of American art, from the mid-1920s to the end of World War II. On October 28, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a historic retrospective of the work of Jasper Johns will be shown simultaneously at both museums, honoring one of America's greatest living artists. In addition, the museum will dedicate exhibitions to Julie Mehretu and Dawoud Bey, distinguished career artists. Mehretu's exhibition, co-hosted by the Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will span more than two decades of the artist's work, presenting a broad overview of her practice to date. In November, Dawoud Bey, one of the leading photographers of his generation, will host his first large-scale retrospective, co-organized by the Whitney and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In September, the Museum will also present David Hammons' monumental public art installation, day's end, on the Gansevoort Peninsula, opposite the Whitney's new headquarters. The premiere of this work of public art will be preceded by an exhibition entitled Around Day's End: Downtown New York, 1970-1986, which will feature a selection of works from the Museum's collection relating to the seminal work that inspired Hammons' sculpture: day's end (1975), by Gordon Matta-Clark.