Christopher Y. Lew Appointed Associate Curator of New York’s Whitney Museum
By Jacqueline Liu
On July 9, the Whitney Museum of American Art announced the appointment of Christopher Y. Lew as its new associate curator. Assuming the role this summer, Lew will contribute to the Whitney’s contemporary program.
The Whitney is currently undergoing a transformation. The construction of its new building in downtown Manhattan is expected to increase the museum’s exhibition and programming space, and thus provide the first comprehensive view of its modern and contemporary American art collection. At this significant time, the Whitney sees Lew’s experience and vision as a great fit in extending the museum’s contemporary program, as well as cultivating conversation around new artists and promoting challenging ideas. “We are delighted to welcome Chris Lew as we prepare to move to our new home downtown in the spring of 2015. His close relationship to artists locally and across the United States, paired with his strong international perspective, will be a great asset to the Museum and its audiences at this important transformative moment for the Whitney,” said Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s chief curator and deputy director for programs, in a recent statement.
Prior to the Whitney, Lew was assistant curator at New York’s MoMA PS1, a position he held from 2011. He was also a curatorial assistant at the museum in 2006 and its manager of curatorial affairs from 2007 to 2011. At MoMA PS 1, Lew gained recognition for introducing emerging artists through group shows such as “New Pictures of Common Objects” (2012) and “Taster’s Choice” (2014), and curated solo shows including “GCC: Achievements in Retrospective” (2014) and “Jack Smith: Normal Love” (recipient of the 2013 AICA award). From 2004–06, Lew was managing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and remains a contributing editor for the magazine.
Regarding his new position, Lew is excited to contribute to the Whitney’s curatorial team: “The Whitney is enjoying an exciting time of growth and I am thrilled and honored to join the Museum as it prepares to return downtown. I look forward to being part of such a renowned institution, to working with the Whitney’s esteemed staff and continuing to engage with artists who have helped to shape and define art in the United States and beyond.”