Rising-Star Curators From Opposite Coasts Are Chosen to Organize the Fifth New Museum Triennial

The New Museum's own Margot Norton and Jamillah James of the ICA LA will organize the show in 2021.

Margot Norton. Photo by Scott Rudd, courtesy of the New Museum. Jamillah James. Photo by Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

New York’s New Museum has tapped Margot Norton, one of its curators, and Jamillah James, curator of Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, to organize its fifth triennial. The next edition of the closely watched show dedicated to the work of emerging artists is set to to open in 2021.

“We are excited about this new bicoastal pairing of curators,” Massimiliano Gioni, the museum’s artistic director, said in a statement. “Both Norton and James have consistently been committed to supporting and exhibiting emerging artists, and have an extraordinary track record in identifying the most interesting artists at work today. I look forward to the new perspective they will bring to the New Museum Triennial, while continuing to expand its relevance and polemical thrust.”

Norton joined the New Museum in 2011 after working as a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She was promoted to curator last year, and is currently organizing the museum’s upcoming exhibition of work by Sarah Lucas, “Au Naturel,” the British artist’s first US survey show, which opens September 26.

The New Museum. Photo by Dean Kaufman, courtesy of the New Museum.

The New Museum. Photo by Dean Kaufman, courtesy of the New Museum.

James took up her current post in 2016, ahead of the ICA LA’s opening in the city’s Arts District last fall. (The museum previously operated in a different location under a different name, the Santa Monica Museum of Art.) Before she arrived at the ICA, James served as the assistant curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and as a curatorial fellow at the Studio Museum in Harlem. During her time at the Hammer, she helped oversee the museum’s much-lauded partnership with Art + Practice, an LA art space founded by the artist Mark Bradford.

The theme for the upcoming triennial has yet to be announced. The popular exhibition debuted in 2009 with “Younger Than Jesus,” a presentation of artists all under the age of 33 curated by Gioni, Laura Hoptman, and Lauren Cornell. Eungie Joo helmed “The Ungovernables” in 2012, while Cornell returned to team up with Ryan Trecartin for the 2015 edition, “Surround Audience,” which focused on digital art.

The fourth triennial, “Songs of Sabotage,” led by Alex Gartenfeld and Gary Carrion-Murayari, offered a heady mix of international artists, contemporary philosophy, and politics. The show closed earlier this year.

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