in other words

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#21 Emerging Art with Whitney Biennial Curator Christopher Y. Lew


Guest Christopher Y. Lew. Photo credit: Colin Miller

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

“We’re in a moment where we are all paying attention to what’s going on in the headlines. It’s hard to ignore a lot of those issues. Many artists are thinking about what kind of world their work is entering into, and how to respond to or deal with the times we live in,” says Christopher Y. Lew, co-curator of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. In this podcast he talks about time spent traveling across America researching the Biennial, his thoughts on emerging art and why he believes face-to-face interactions help curators connect the dots.

“In Other Words” is a presentation of AAP and Sotheby’s, produced by

Click here for full transcript

Charlotte Burns: Hello, and welcome to In Other Words. I'm your host Charlotte Burns. Joining me today is Christopher Y. Lew, the Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hi Chris. Christopher Y. Lew: Hi Charlotte. Thanks for having me. Charlotte Burns: Thank you…


Christopher Y. Lew

Christopher Y. Lew is the Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he has organized the first US solo exhibitions for Rachel Rose and Jared Madere. He has also organized, with Curator and Curator of Performance Jay Sanders, the first US theatrical presentation by New Theater. His other exhibitions at the Whitney include “Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday” (2016); “Open Plan: Lucy Dodd” (2016); and the group show “Mirror Cells” (2016), co-organized with associate curator Jane Panetta. Prior to joining the Whitney in 2014, he organized numerous exhibitions at MoMA PS1, including “Clifford Owens: Anthology” (2011); “New Pictures of Common Objects” (2012); “Jack Smith: Normal Love” (2013); “Taster’s Choice” (2014); “GCC: Achievements in Retrospective” (2014), and “James Ferraro: 100%” (2014). 

Charlotte Burns

executive editor of In Other Words

Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.

Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.

The live record

Behind the Scenes: Emerging Art with Whitney Biennial Curator Christopher Y. Lew

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By Jason Katzenstein

For More on Christopher Y. Lew

“Christopher Y. Lew on Curating”, a conversation with Katy Diamond Hamer in The Creative Independent (5 October 2017)

“Why Dana Schutz’s Emmett Till Painting Must Stay: A Q&A With the Whitney Biennial’s Christopher Lew”, by Andrew Goldstein in artnet News (30 March 2017)

“Whitney Biennial 2017: How the Museum’s Riskiest, Most Political Survey in Decades Came Together”, by Fan Zhong in W Magazine (14 March 2017)

“An Eye for the Ascendant”, by Charlotte Burns in Cultured Magazine (2016)

“Christopher Y. Lew”, by Julia Trotta in Kaleidoscope (2016)

Where to look

Shows Organized by Christopher Y. Lew

4 Images

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