The Whitney Announces Spring Public Programs

This spring, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents a series of talks, performances, and workshops in conjunction with its exhibitions Between the Waters, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, Nick Mauss: Transmissions, and Zoe Leonard: Survey. These public programs offer opportunities to engage with artists and scholars to consider the questions and themes explored in each exhibition.


The schedule is subject to change.

Nick Mauss (b. 1980), Transmissions, March 16–May 14, 2018

Nick Mauss (b. 1980), Transmissions, March 16–May 14, 2018. Whitney Museum of American Art. Performers pictured: Ahmaud Culver, Jasmine Hearn, and Anna Witenberg, March 13, 2018. Photograph © Paula Court

Strange Fruit, Saturday, March 24, 3 pm

Over five years, Zoe Leonard sewed together skins of fruit to create Strange Fruit (1992–1997). Leonard chose not to preserve the resulting work, intending for its decay to be on view. On the occasion of the work’s appearance for the first time since 2001 in Zoe Leonard: Survey, a range of voices will reflect on Strange Fruit and its multiple historical inflections, its relevance and resonance today, and its very specific material existence. Speakers include writer, AIDS activist, and film- and videomaker Gregg Bordowitz; conceptual, interdisciplinary, transgender artist Jonah Groeneboer; interdisciplinary artist Katherine Hubbard; writer and scholar Fred Moten; artist Cameron Rowland; and conservator of contemporary art Christian Scheidemann. Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, moderates the conversation.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors, plus Museum admission; free for members).

A Chilling Make Believe: Alexis Rockman on Grant Wood
Friday, April 6, 6:30 pm

This talk by artist Alexis Rockman examines the romanticized and ambivalent view of a pre-industrial rural world depicted in Grant Wood’s landscape paintings. Situating Wood in a tradition of American art in which national identity depends on a personal visual vocabulary, Rockman shares his longstanding engagement with Wood through paintings that mix contemporary dread and hope for our ecological future.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

Demian DinéYazhi’: An Infected Sunset
Friday, April 20, 7 pm

In conjunction with the exhibition Between the Waters, Demian DinéYazhi’ reads selections from his poem, An Infected Sunset. This long-form descriptive prose poem is a reflection on queer sex, survival, death politics, indigenous identity, environmental injustice, and the importance of honoring community. The evening begins with a performance by Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache).

Free with Museum admission during Pay-As-You-Wish Fridays. Advanced registration required.

Badlands Unlimited presents What is Cryptocurrency?
Friday, April 27, 6:30 pm

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, and other cryptocurrencies claim to hold the potential to revolutionize the very nature of global economics by decentralizing how money and value are exchanged. This program explores the basics of crypto: its history, technology, and current application in the field of finance and beyond. Maya Binyam and Grayson Earle, co-founders of Bail Bloc, a cryptocurrency app that seeks a real-world exchange value against bail, also lead a conversation about what crypto can be for artists and writers.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

Transmissions: Nick Mauss in conversation with Elena Filipovic, Jennifer Homans, and Elisabeth Sussman
Friday, May 4, 6:30 pm

In conjunction with Nick Mauss: Transmissions, this roundtable conversation explores the genesis of the exhibition through multiple circuits of inquiry and dialogue, how the interdependence of dance and art histories can be exhibited, and what challenges are brought up in the presentation of ephemeral, time-based, collaborative works. Addressing some of the counter-histories proposed by Transmissions, this conversation emphasizes exhibition-making as an artistic form. Mauss speaks with Elena Filipovic, director and curator, Kunsthalle Basel, Jennifer Homans, founder and director, The Center for Ballet in the Arts at NYU, and Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography and co-curator of Nick Mauss: Transmissions, each of whom has worked closely with the artist. This program is organized in collaboration with The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

On Ballet: Fran Lebowitz and Nick Mauss
Sunday, May 13, 6:30 pm

On the occasion of his exhibition Nick Mauss: Transmissions, Mauss talks with author and cultural commentator Fran Lebowitz about ballet in New York in the 1970s, the crucial role played by its audiences and the lasting impact of AIDS on the city’s cultural landscape. Tickets are required ($15 adults; $12 members, students, and seniors).

Whitney Independent Studies Program: Critical Studies Symposium
Friday, May 18, 5 pm

The 2018 Critical Studies Symposium, part of the Whitney’s Independent Study Program, is an evening-long program in which each of the six program participants presents a short paper on their current research. Critical Studies participants engage in individual scholarly research and critical writing projects through tutorials with a professional art historian, critic, or cultural theorist.

Admission is free; registration is required.

Zoe Leonard in conversation with Elisabeth Lebovici
Sunday, May 20, 4 pm

This conversation between Zoe Leonard and critic Elisabeth Lebovici explores their intersecting practices and mutual histories, reflecting on the exhibition Zoe Leonard: Survey and Lebovici’s recent book, Ce que le sida m’a fait (What AIDS has done to me). An art historian and critic, Lebovici explores the articulation between feminism, gender studies, queer politics, LGBT activism, and the contemporary arts.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

Continuous Signals: On the work of Zoe Leonard
Friday, June 1, 6:30 pm

Beginning with her 1992 text I want a president…, Zoe Leonard’s work continually asks us to read the past in dialogue with the conditions of the present. Her images, objects, and texts, including recent sculptures like Tipping Point (2016) and her new site-specific work, Homage (2018), interrogate the positions of historical authors and subjects, and prompt viewers to consider other unknown, unseen, or unread possibilities. In this roundtable discussion with curator Lynne Cooke, art historians Darby English and Laura Guy, and Whitney assistant curator Elisabeth Sherman, Leonard’s multiple approaches to framing history are considered.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students, and seniors).

All events take place in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater unless noted otherwise. Please visit for ticketing details and the latest information.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday. Adults: $25. Full-time students and visitors 65 & over: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit

Between the Waters is organized by Elisabeth ShMajor support for Between the Waters is provided by John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation. Generous support is provided by Jackson Tang as part of the Whitney’s emerging artists series, and Margaret Kross, curatorial assistant.

Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables is organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art. Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables is sponsored by Bank of America. Major foundation support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Major support is also provided by the Barbara Haskell American Fellows Legacy Fund.

Significant support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Generous support is provided by John and Mary Pappajohn and the Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Nick Mauss: Transmissions is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, and Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, with Greta Hartenstein, senior curatorial assistant, and Allie Tepper, curatorial project assistant. Generous support for Nick Mauss: Transmissions is provided by Deutsche Bank and the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In-kind support is provided by The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.

Zoe Leonard: Survey is organized by Bennett Simpson, senior curator, with Rebecca Matalon, curatorial associate, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The installation at the Whitney Museum is overseen by Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator. In New York, generous support for Zoe Leonard: Survey is provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, the Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Diane and Adam E. Max, and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Additional support is provided by Suzanne and Bob Cochran, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Susan and Arthur Fleischer, Ellen and Steve Susman, and Linda and Andrew Safran.