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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art appoints Clément Chéroux as Senior Curator of Photography
He is currently the Chief Curator of the Department of Photography at the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art today announced the appointment of Clément Chéroux as senior curator of photography for the Department of Photography, which includes the Pritzker Center for Photography, the largest space permanently devoted to the display, study and interpretation of the medium at any art museum in the United States. Currently the Chief Curator of the Department of Photography at the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Chéroux will supervise SFMOMA’s photography exhibitions, acquisition program, publications, scholarship and management of the museum’s Department of Photography. He succeeds Sandra Phillips, who after a distinguished thirty-year career with SFMOMA, will assume the newly created role of Emeritus Curator as of July 1, 2016, and will focus on special projects for the museum. Ruth Berson, deputy museum director of curatorial affairs, will serve as interim department director until Chéroux joins SFMOMA in early 2017.

“Clément brings deep expertise in the realm of modern and contemporary photography from curation to scholarship and publication, as well as a uniquely global perspective that will build on the remarkable legacy of Sandy Phillips and our innovative photography team,” said Ruth Berson. “His diverse skill set combined with our community of passionate photographers and collectors will yield exciting results in the future.”

SFMOMA also announced a major gift of photographs from collectors Lisa and John Pritzker featuring 78 works by 25 artists. The gift was designed to complement and build upon SFMOMA’s existing photography collection, which numbers more than 17,800 works and is the largest of the museum’s holdings. Made in Europe and America between 1925 and 2011, the pictures range from the documentary to the experimental, and from the single print to the unique artist’s book.

Of particular note is a group of 14 photographs by modernist great, André Kertész, including an exceptional 1927 portrait of the writer and photography critic, Pierre MacOrlan; conceptual work from the 1970s by Vito Acconci, Dieter Appelt and William Wegman, including Acconci’s 1971 Step Piece and Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies; as well as examples of street photography made in America by the likes of Lee Friedlander, Philip Lorca diCorcia, Paul Graham and Garry Winogrand, including Graham’s 23rd Street, 2nd June 2011, 4.25.14 pm, the most recent photograph in the gift.

The exploration of photography will continue at SFMOMA with a two-day symposium, The Photographic Event, on September 23-24, 2016. Artists and scholars from around the world will join SFMOMA Curator of Photography Corey Keller for a series of panel discussions, presentations, screenings and performances.

Since 2013, Clément Chéroux has served as Chief Curator of the Department of Photography for the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and joined that museum as Curator of Photography in 2007. Prior to that, he lectured on the history of photography at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, the University of Paris III and the University of Lausanne, and served as executive editor of the magazine Études Photographiques published by the Société Française de photographie. Chéroux has also served as an independent curator. As author or editor, Chéroux has published more than 40 books and catalogs on photography and its history.

Chéroux has curated or co-curated more than 20 exhibitions on modern and contemporary photography such as Varda/Cuba (2015), Thierry Fontaine, les joueurs (2015), Anna et Bernhard Blume, la photographie transcendantale (2015), Valérie Belin, les images intranquilles (2015), Qu’est-ce que la photographie? (2015), Jacques-André Boiffard, la paranthèse surréaliste (2014), Man Ray, Picabia et la revue “Littérature“(2014), Henri Cartier-Bresson: ici et maintenant (2014), Paparazzi! Photographes, stars et artists (2014), Shoot! Existential Photography (2012), Edvard Munch, The Modern Eye (2011), Brancusi, photographie, film (2011), La Subversion des images, surréalisme, photographie, film (2009) and The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult (2004). He is currently preparing a Walker Evans retrospective that will be presented at both SFMOMA and the Centre Pompidou.

Chéroux earned a PhD in Art History from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, an MA in Aesthetics, Technology and Artistic Creation from the University of Paris VIII and a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, Arles. He was a visiting research fellow in the Art History Department at Princeton University and a guest scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum Photography Department.

Chéroux was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Knight) for the exhibition, Edvard Munch, the Modern Eye, the Nadar Award for Photography Book of the Year for La subversion des images, surréalism, photographie, film (with Quentin Bajac) and the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult (with Andreas Fischer).

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