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Donna De Salvo

Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art

Donna De Salvo joined the Whitney in 2004 and was appointed the Museum’s first Chief Curator in 2006, a post she held until 2015, when she assumed the role of Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator. De Salvo organizes exhibitions and collection displays, co-directs the Painting and Sculpture Acquisition Committee, and oversees the Andy Warhol films catalogue raisonné project. A noted expert on the work of Warhol, she curated the Whitney’s major thematic retrospective Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again (2018). Recent exhibitions De Salvo has curated or co-curated include Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium(2017), Open Plan: Michael Heizer (2016), and Open Plan: Steve McQueen (2016), in addition to numerous others prior to the Whitney’s move downtown.

Prior to working at the Whitney, De Salvo served for five years as a Senior Curator at the Tate Modern, London, where she curated such exhibitions as Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970 (2005), Marsyas(Anish Kapoor’s 2003 work commissioned by Tate Modern for its Turbine Hall), and Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis (2001). 

From 1981 to 1986, De Salvo was a curator at the Dia Art Foundation, where she worked closely with several of its artists, including John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. 

She has written catalogues and essays and lectured on a wide range of modern and contemporary artists, including William Eggleston, Philip Guston, Wade Guyton, Barbara Kruger, Giorgio Morandi, Barnett Newman, Chris Ofili, Gerhard Richter, Robert Smithson, Cy Twombly, Mark Wallinger, and Gillian Wearing. A recipient of the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award from the College Art Association, she has participated in many international juries and review panels, and has taught at the curatorial studies programs at Bard College and the Royal College of Art.

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