The Whitechapel Gallery has announced today that Lydia Yee is appointed Chief Curator. Lydia Yee joins the Whitechapel Gallery in this senior role as the century-old Gallery strengthens its global reach and outlook to new territories, while expanding its digital platforms and welcoming half a million visitors a year. Working closely with Iwona Blazwick, Director, she will oversee a broad programme of modern and contemporary art exhibitions, new artist commissions, presentations of rarely seen collections from around the world, focused displays from the Whitechapel Gallery’s historic archive, and an extensive programme of publications.
Lydia Yee has been Curator at Barbican Art Gallery since 2007. Her recent exhibitions include Bauhaus: Art as Life (2013, co-curated with Catherine Ince), Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene (2011), Ron Arad: Restless(2010). She has overseen more than ten commissions for the Barbican’s Curve gallery by artists including Cory Arcangel, John Bock, Ay?e Erkmen, Geoffrey Farmer and Robert Ku?mirowski. Prior to joining the Barbican, Lydia was Senior Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, where she was responsible for the exhibition programme and collection. She was the recipient of the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2006 for Street Art, Street Life. In 2003, she was the Cassullo Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She is currently co-curating the British Art Show 8 (2015).
From February 2015 she leads the exhibitions team at the Whitechapel Gallery including Daniel F. Herrmann, Eisler Curator and Head of Curatorial Studies; Omar Kholeif, Curator; Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery; and Assistant Curators Poppy Bowers, Emily Butler, Habda Rashid and Candy Stobbs. She takes over the role from Magnus af Petersens, who curated exhibitions including Chris Marker(2014), a new commission by Kader Attia (2013), as well as forthcoming exhibitions including Richard Tuttle opening on 14 October and Mike Nelson’s selection of works from the V-A-C collection opening on 9 September. He will take up the position of Head of Collection at Modern Museet, Stockholm.
Forthcoming highlights for 2015 include: a landmark exhibition tracing a century of Abstract art from 1915 to today, major solo shows for artists Christopher Williams and Emily Jacir, and The London Open triennial exhibition showcasing art being made across the capital,changing displays opening up collections from around the world, as well as the Whitechapel Gallery’s archives, and major site-specific commissions.
Lydia Yee, said: ‘I am very honoured to be joining the Whitechapel Gallery, which has long been a reference point for me as a curator. Its diverse and adventurous exhibitions of contemporary and modern art and critically engaging publications have been hugely influential. I look forward to working with artists, audiences, colleagues and stakeholders to build on this illustrious history and to further strengthen its international outlook.’
Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, said: ‘We are delighted that Lydia Yee is joining the Whitechapel Gallery. She has an incredible ability to bring key moments in art history to life, while illuminating the work of contemporary figures, and we look forward to welcoming her to the artist’s gallery for everyone.’