Graduate Fine Arts

Adrienne Edwards

Visiting Critic

Adrienne Edwards was named Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum in 2018. Previously, she served as curator of Performa since 2010 and as Curator at Large for the Walker Art Center since 2016.

Edwards is co-curator of the 2021 Whitney Biennial with David Breslin. At the Whitney, she curated Jason Moran, the artist’s first museum show. She originated the exhibition at the Walker in 2018; it previously traveled to the ICA Boston and the Wexner Center for the Arts. The exhibition features a series of performances, Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon, curated by Edwards and Moran. She organized the event commencing the construction of David Hammons’s Day’s End, featuring a commission by composer Henry Threadgill and a “water tango” on the Hudson River by the Fire Department of the City of New York’s Marine Company 9. Edwards also organized Moved by the Motion: Sudden Rise, a series of performances based on a text co-written by Wu Tsang, boychild, and Fred Moten, which presented a collage of words, film, movements, and sounds. 

For Performa, Edwards realized new boundary-defying commissions, as well as pathfinding conferences and film programs with a wide range of over forty international artists. While at the Walker, she co-led the institution-wide Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Initiative, an effort to expand ways of commissioning, studying, collecting, documenting, and conserving cross-disciplinary works. Edwards’s curatorial projects have included the critically acclaimed exhibition and catalogue Blackness in Abstraction, hosted by Pace Gallery in 2016. She also organized Frieze’s Artist Award and Live program in New York in 2018. Edwards taught art history and visual studies at New York University and The New School, and she is a contributor to the National Gallery of Art’s Center for the Advanced Study in Visual Art’s forthcoming publication Black Modernisms.