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Wexner Center Names New Exhibitions Curatorial Team
Christopher Bedford, currently assistant curator in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has been named Curator.

COLUMBUS, OH.- The Wexner Center for the Arts announced today the appointment of two new members of its curatorial team in the exhibitions department:

Catharina Manchanda, previously curator at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis, is the new Senior Curator; and Christopher Bedford, currently assistant curator in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has been named Curator. Manchanda began her tenure with the center earlier this month, and Bedford will be joining the team in October.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this dynamic duo to the Wexner Center to help shape its programs over the next several years,” says Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin. “Each brings keen creative and intellectual gifts to the center. Catharina comes with impressive experience at a leading national modern art museum where she was mentored by one of the leading contemporary curators in the field, as well as her more recent tenure at a university-based museum. Christopher has emerged from a combined curatorial and publishing background with an avid appetite for working with a wide range of contemporary artists and practices. Both are bursting with energy and ideas, and both bring a special appreciation for the unique role of the Wexner C enter as a multi-disciplinary creative laboratory serving the university, as well as the local, national and international arts community.”

Manchanda and Bedford will become integral members of the center’s programming team led by Geldin and including members of the performing arts, film, exhibitions, and education departments. They will work closely with the director to shape the exhibition program, conceiving and curating exhibitions, producing catalogues, and selecting exhibitions that the Wexner Center will import from other institutions. They will actively collaborate with the center’s education staff and university colleagues in shaping a variety of public programs, and represent the center in both campus-based and city-wide public art initiatives. Manchanda and Bedford will also interact with the arts and cultural community in Columbus while maintaining crucial connections with artists, collectors, and curatorial colleagues around the world.

At the Kemper, Manchanda most recently curated Beauty and the Blonde: An Exploration of American Art and Popular Culture (fall of 2007), a nationally recognized exhibition that investigated the emergence of the attractive female blonde as an American icon in the 1950s and ’60s, and critically examined subsequent artistic engagements of that image. Among her other exhibitions for the Kemper was Models and Prototypes, which examined the growing importance of architectural and topographic models as visual strategies since the 1920s. Prior to joining the Kemper, where she was curator for two years, Manchanda was a curatorial assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she worked closely with Robert Storr on the coordination and research of two important Gerhard Richter exhibitions. She has also been a curatorial intern at the Guggenheim Museum and the Harvard University Art Museums, and had a two-year curatorial fellowship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has published numerous essays, delivered lectures, and organized panel discussions throughout the years.

A native of Germany, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Stuttgart, her M.A. in art history at the University of Delaware, and her Ph.D. in art history at the City University of New York.

Bedford was with LACMA for nearly two years; before that, he served as a curatorial assistant and then consulting curator in the department of sculpture and decorative arts at the Getty Museum in L.A. His exhibitions have included Contemporary Projects 11: Hard Targets—Masculinity and Sport for LACMA (opening this fall), and a similar traveling show that he produced for Independent Curators International, Mixed Signals Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports. He is working on a full retrospective of the visual and performance artist Chris Burden (slated for 2012) also for LACMA, and one scheduled for L.A.’s OTIS College of Art and Design titled Superficiality and Superexcrescence: Surface and Identity in Recent California Art (for which he received a 2007 Fellows of Contemporary Art Curators’ Award, a $60,000 grant). He has been a contributing writer to Artforum and Art in America, serves on the editorial board of X-TRA: Contemporary Art Quarterly, and has contributed to many exhibition catalogues.

A citizen of the U.K., Bedford received his B.A. in art history from Oberlin College (in Ohio) and his M.A. in art history from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland (through the Cleveland Museum of Art Joint Program), and is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London.

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