Robin Pogrebin profiles Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s young chief curator, who wants his shows to be entertaining and attractive to large crowds without slacking on the scholarship:
“It will be pleasing to larger audiences, but there’s a lot of scholarship beneath the surface,” Mr. Weinberg said. “While there might be a larger chronological or thematic idea, there are also surprises. He understands that exhibition is also storytelling.”
[…] [M]any say Mr. Rothkopf, who is also deputy director of programs, made it this far this fast largely through hard work. “Human Interest” is the 10th show he has curated solely or collaboratively in seven years.
Four of these involved surveys of major artists: Jeff Koons, Wade Guyton, Glenn Ligon and Mary Heilmann, each of whom remarked on Mr. Rothkopf’s meticulousness, from the marketing to the catalog.
“It was like brain surgery without anesthesia,” Mr. Ligon said. “I’ve never had someone really think about every component of a show like that.”
Mr. Ligon said that Mr. Rothkopf suggested they go to see every piece they wanted to borrow for the exhibition, in person. “If a show is a kind of poem, every word matters,” Mr. Ligon said. “And you can’t pick those pieces from transparencies. You’ve got to go look at them.”
For Scott Rothkopf, a Swift Ascendance in the Whitney Hierarchy (The New York Times)