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DIA Names Mark Rosenthal Adjunct Curator
Mark Rosenthal.

DETROIT, MI.- Graham W. J. Beal, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), today announced the appointment of Mark Rosenthal as adjunct curator for contemporary art. Rosenthal will be responsible for guiding the acquisitions and programs of the DIA’s department of contemporary art, and for developing and organizing exhibitions for the contemporary program.

“I am extremely pleased to have an individual of Mark’s caliber working with us at the DIA,” Beal commented. “The adjunct capacity is a new model for us, and we believe it suits our needs and ambitions in the area of contemporary art. Mark’s record in the field speaks for itself, and we all look forward to exciting acquisitions, exhibitions and related programming under his guidance.”

Mark Rosenthal has been a leading figure in 20th-century and contemporary art for 30 years. Over that time he has shaped the collecting and exhibitions programs in 20th-century art at several of the nation’s leading institutions, as head of the department of 20th-century art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1983-89) and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (1993-96); curator of collections at the Berkeley Art Museum, University of California (1976-83); consulting curator to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989-92) and adjunct curator at the Menil Collection, Houston (2001-06) and Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2003-present).

Among the dozens of exhibitions Rosenthal has organized for numerous institutions internationally are: Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments (2004), curated for the Menil Collection and the first exhibition of Beuys sculpture in the English-speaking world in two decades; Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906 (1997), for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the first comprehensive survey of Picasso’s earliest work; Abstraction in the Twentieth Century (1996), for the Guggenheim Museum, which traced the history of abstract art from Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich through the postmodern era; and retrospectives of Philip Guston (1989-90), for the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and Jonathan Borofsky (1984), for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rosenthal also organized monograph exhibitions of Anselm Kiefer (1987) and Jasper Johns (1988), and was responsible for organizing, early in their careers, shows of the work of Joan Brown, Francesco Clemente, Robert Irwin, Maria Nordman and Susan Rothenberg. Rosenthal has organized Continental Drift: Installations by Joan Jonas, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Juan Munoz, Yinka Shonibare (2004); and Damien Hirst: The Bilotti Paintings (2005) for the Norton Museum of Art, and is currently preparing a large scale exhibition of the work of William Kentridge.

“I am delighted to join one of the most distinguished museums in the United States,” Rosenthal said. “Its collection brings to mind, in particular, great sculptures by Tony Smith and Mark Di Suvero and, of course, the Rivera murals. It will be an honor for me to make a contribution to the institute’s future direction.”

Rosenthal’s most recent book is Understanding Installation Art (2003; Prestel); he has also contributed to, among other publications, Artforum, Parkett, and The Burlington Magazine. Rosenthal holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in English from Temple University.

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