Julie Mehretu, Andrea Carlson, Dawoud Bey, and Madeline Hollander



In collaboration with The Broad and Luaka Bop, the Whitney is set to present the world premiere of Promises: Through Congress, a visual meditation on Julie Mehretu’s Congress on April 24.


NEW YORK, April 5, 2021The Whitney will host an array of free virtual public programs this spring. Encompassing talks, conversations, and courses, programs foreground current and upcoming exhibitions Dawoud Bey: An American Project, Andrea Carlson: Red Exit, Madeline Hollander: Flatwing, and Julie Mehretu. Along with Whitney collection artists Dawoud Bey, Andrea Carlson, Madeline Hollander, Jason Moran, and Julie Mehretu, program participants include author and National Book Awards winner Sarah M. Broom; urban historian and author Thomas Dyja; and multidisciplinary artist and architect SANTIAGO X.

The Museum also announced today that, in collaboration with The Broad and Luaka Bop, it will present the world premiere of Promises: Through Congresson April 24. The film by Trevor Tweeten offers a visual experience of Mehretu’s large-scale painting Congress (2013) and Promises, the continuous forty-six-minute piece of music written by electronic musician and composer Floating Points aka Sam Shepherd. Five years in the making, Promises (Luaka Bop) is a collaboration and album between Floating Points and jazz legend Pharoah Sanders, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra. Parts of Mehretu’s painting are visible through a trapezium on the album’s cover. Introduced by Mehretu, Promises: Through Congress will stream simultaneously on whitney.org and thebroad.org at 3 pm EDT / 12 pm PST on Saturday, April 24.

Organized by the Museum’s Education department, these events allow audiences to hear directly from artists and scholars, as well as Whitney curators and educators, in keeping with the Museum’s commitment to providing ongoing opportunities for learning, engagement, and entertainment.

For schedule updates and complete registration details, please visit whitney.org.




Tuesday, April 6, 6 pm

Since the mid-1990s, Julie Mehretu’s work has examined painting, history, geopolitics, and displacement. In her paintings and works on paper, she deploys abstraction, architecture, landscape, scale, and, most recently, figuration. For this Walter Annenberg Lecture, Mehretu speaks about her practice with Adam D. Weinberg, the Museum’s Alice Pratt Brown Director.



Tuesday, April 13, 6 pm

In her current exhibition, centered on the new video installation Flatwing, artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander investigates themes of adaptation and movement in the face of urgent environmental pressures. For this program, Hollander joins Chrissie Iles, Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, and Clémence White, senior curatorial assistant, for a conversation about her multidisciplinary practice and the genesis of her latest work. 



Fridays, April 16, 23, 30, 1 pm

Julie Mehretu has a long-standing interest in the concept of the agora, or public square, a site rich in communal, civic, and spiritual connotations. This three-part course explores Mehretu’s work in relation to the concept of the agora and considers her practice against the traditions of history painting and the genre of landscape, both contested terrains with unique visual lineages and orientation towards a public. The sessions also contextualize Mehretu’s work through resonant art historical precedents and contemporary counterparts, such as the Hudson River School artists, An-My Lê, Siah Armajani, Cy Twombly, and Ian Cheng.

The course will be taught by Xin Wang, a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney and a Ph.D. candidate in modern and contemporary art at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. 



Thursday, April 22, 6 pm

On the occasion of Andrea Carlson’s current public art project at the Whitney, Andrea Carlson: Red Exit, Carlson (Grand Portage Ojibwe) joins in conversation with fellow artist SANTIAGO X (Koasati and Hacha’Maori) about their shared interests in land, Indigenous Futurisms, and how their respective practices celebrate, in Carlson’s words, “the place we (Native People) reserve for ourselves . . . places of joy amidst removal, exclusion, and attempted assimilation.” Both artists live and work in what is today known as Chicago, and their discussion also touches on their distinct yet interrelated relationships with the city and engagement with Native spaces and histories.

The conversation is introduced by Melinda Lang, senior curatorial assistant, who organized Andrea Carlson: Red Exit.

SANTIAGO X is an Indigenous Futurist, multidisciplinary artist and architect specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation. X’s upcoming large-scale permanent earthwork, The Coiled Serpent, will debut in Chicago on Indigenous Peoples Day 2021, alongside his augmented reality application in development entitled, Augment Earth


Julie Mehretu


Saturday, April 24, 3 pm

Presented in collaboration with The Broad and Luaka Bop

Promises (Luaka Bop, 2021) is the new album from British electronic musician and composer Floating Points aka Sam Shepherd and jazz titan Pharoah Sanders. It features the London Symphony Orchestra and artwork by Julie Mehretu, whose expansive painting Congress is seen on the album cover. Together with the artists, filmmaker Trevor Tweeten has created Promises: Through Congress, a forty-six-minute film offering a visual experience of Congress shot on location at The Broad in Los Angeles where the immersive work will be on view when the museum reopens to the public.

This world premiere screening of Promises: Through Congress is introduced by Julie Mehretu and produced in collaboration with The Broad and Luaka Bop. The film will stream simultaneously on whitney.org and thebroad.org at 3 pm EDT / 12 pm PST.

Trevor Tweeten is a New York-based artist and cinematographer who works at the crossroads of film, sculpture, and installation. As a cinematographer, he has realized a number of films and video art projects, ranging from narrative to documentary to experimental. His work has been exhibited internationally including the Venice Biennale (2013), Barbican Centre, Louisiana Museum, Palais de Tokyo, Akademie der Künste, the National Gallery of Victoria and many others.

Floating Points aka Sam Shepherd is an electronic music composer who has developed a singular approach to sound and composition by combining classical sensibilities with complex electronic technique. In 2015 he released Elaenia, with mesmerizing ebbs and flows that span moments of light and dark; rigidity and freedom; elegance and chaos. His 2019 album Crush further revealed his symphonic craftsmanship, combining classical sensibilities with complex Buchla synthesizer.

Pharoah Sanders is a pioneering American jazz saxophonist, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1940. Known for his bold improvisations and distinctive sound, Sanders performed with John Coltrane on his late-career free jazz masterpieces and has since released a string of expansive recordings under his own name. Sanders was awarded a Grammy in 1988 and in 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him with its prestigious Jazz Master title, the genre’s highest honor.

London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904, as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Today, the LSO is ranked among the world’s top orchestras and is the Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London. They have made gramophone recordings since 1912 and played on more than 200 soundtrack recordings for the cinema, including Star Wars, and many more.

Luaka Bop is a record label founded by David Byrne in 1989 that represents artists such as Floating Points and William Onyeabor. The label has been working with Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders separately since 2015. Known for bringing greater global attention to the music of some of the most important musicians of the last century, Luaka Bop has release critically acclaimed selections from the catalogues of artists including Tim Maia, Shuggie Otis, Alice Coltrane, and others. 


New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation


Thursday, April 29, 6 pm

To mark the publication of his new book New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation (2021), urban historian and author Thomas Dyja speaks with Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, about the recent history of New York City and his wide-ranging research for this project. The conversation explores Dyja’s account of how New York City became what it is today, and considers the role of arts and culture in this evolution from SoHo, Schnabel, and the Times Square Show to the 1993 Whitney Biennial and the Culture Wars to the rise of Chelsea and Williamsburg.

Author and urban historian Thomas Dyja has edited four anthologies and written three novels, a biography of civil rights pioneer Walter White, and The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, winner of the 2013 Heartland Prize for Non-fiction. This latest work of nonfiction traces the transformation of New York City from the 70s through present day. 



Thursday, May 6, 7 pm

For more than four decades, Dawoud Bey has used the camera to create poignant meditations on visibility, power, and race, chronicling communities and histories that have largely been underrepresented or even unseen. Opening on April 17, Dawoud Bey: An American Project traces continuities across Bey’s major series, from his earliest street portraits in Harlem through his most recent project imagining an escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad. For this event, assistant curator Elisabeth Sherman and curatorial assistant Ambika Trasi will provide an overview of the exhibition and take questions from the audience.

Ask a Curator is an ongoing virtual event series that provides audiences an intimate look into the realization of Whitney exhibitions and allows for open conversation with the curators at the helm of each show. 



Wednesday, May 12, 6 pm

On the occasion of the exhibition Dawoud: An American Project, this conversation brings photographer Dawoud Bey together with artist and musician Jason Moran and writer Sarah M. Broom to discuss their shared interest in specific histories and shared memories as the ground for their respective practices.

Inspired by Bey’s The Birmingham Project (2012)—a memorial to the victims of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL—and Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2019)—which imagines the flight of enslaved Black Americans along the final leg of the Underground Railroad—the speakers reflect on how an artwork can become an act of commemoration and radical reinvention.

Jason Moran is a jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist who is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language. Moran’s extensive efforts in composition, improvisation, and performance challenge the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his predecessors such as James Reese Europe, Thelonious Monk, and Fats Waller, among others. In 2018, Moran had his first solo museum exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. The exhibition later traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY where it was on view from September 20, 2019–January 5, 2020.

Sarah M. Broom is a journalist, 2019 National Book Award Winner, and New York Times bestselling author of The Yellow House, a memoir that weaves the story of her family in New Orleans across multiple generations. Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and elsewhere.



The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists at a time when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for ninety years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.


The Whitney’s Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965
Through May 2022Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019
Through February 2022Nothing Is So Humble: Prints From Everyday Objects
Through April 2021Andrea Carlson: Red Exit
Through Sept 2021Madeline Hollander: Flatwing
Through August 8, 2021Julie Mehretu
Through August 8, 2021

Dawoud Bey: An American Project
April 17–October 3, 2021

Public Art Project: David Hammons, Day’s End
Opens May 2021Dave McKenzie: The Story I Tell Myself
Opens May 1, 2021

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror
September 29, 2021–February 13, 2022

Martine Gutierrez
On view September 2021

My Barbarian
Opens October 22, 2021

Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing
Opens Fall 2021

2022 Whitney Biennial
Opens Spring 2022

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Adults: $25. Full-time students, visitors 65 & over, and visitors with disabilities: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Public hours are 10:30 am–6 pm Thursday through Monday; with members-only hours on Monday from 5–6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30–11:30 am. Pay-what-you-wish admission will be offered on Thursdays from 1:30–6 pm. Reserve timed-entry tickets in advance at whitney.org. For more information please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.


Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014




AAQ / Resource: Riverhead Toyota


Image credit:

Clockwise from upper Left: Julie Mehretu, © Josefina Santos; Andrea Carlson, image courtesy the artist; Madeline Hollander, image by Sasha Arutyunova; Dawoud Bey, image by Whitten Sabbatini

Julie Mehretu, Ghosthymn (after the Raft), 2019–21. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 144 × 180 in. (365.8 × 457.2 cm). Private collection; courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging. © Julie Mehretu

Installation view of Madeline Hollander: Flatwing(Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 25–August 8, 2021). Madeline Hollander, Flatwing, 2019. Photograph by Ron Amstutz

Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 107 3/8 × 140 1/8 in. (272.73 × 355.92 cm). Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg; gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn and A.W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund 2004.50. Photograph courtesy the Carnegie Museum. © Julie Mehretu

Andrea Carlson, Red Exit, 2020. Oil, watercolor, opaque watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil, ball-point pen, fiber-tipped pen, and graphite pencil on paper, sixty sheets, 115 x 183 in. (292.1 x 464.8 cm) (overall). Collection of the artist; courtesy Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis. Photo: Rik Sferra

Trevor Tweeten, still from Promises: Through Congress, 2021. Video, color, sound, 46 min. With the music Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra. Congress, 2003, ink and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 inches (182.88 x 243.84 cm), The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles. ©Julie Mehretu

Thomas Dyja’s New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation (Simon & Schuster, 2021)

Dawoud Bey, Untitled #25 (Lake Erie and Sky), 2017. Gelatin silver print, 44 x 55 in. (111.8 x 139.7 cm). Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. © Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey, Don Sledge and Moses Austin, Birmingham, AL, 2012. Inkjet prints, 40 x 64 in. (101.6 cm x 162.56). Rennie Collection, Vancouver. © Dawoud Bey