NEW YORK, NY.- The Whitney Museum of American Art
announced that Kim Conaty will be joining the curatorial department as Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings and Prints. Currently serving as Curator at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Conaty will begin working at the Whitney in mid-July.
Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: Since our opening downtown, the Whitneys deep and distinguished holdings of drawings and prints have played an unusually central role in our collection displays, both enlivening and challenging traditional narratives of American art history. In so many ways, Kim is a natural fit for the Whitney and the perfect curator to take this work forward. Her commitment to living artists is matched by a wealth of scholarship; her expertise in works on paper is informed by inventive multidisciplinary thinking; and her passion for collection stewardship is complemented by a deep regard for museum audiences. Kim will occupy a key position on the curatorial team, focusing on the growth, care, and display of our holdings of drawings and prints, while contributing to our program more broadly.
As Curator at the Rose Art Museum, Conaty has overseen the museums renowned permanent collection of modern and contemporary art and leads the curatorial program of special exhibitions, collection installations, and related programming. There she has curated several exhibitions on contemporary artists including Sharon Lockhart / Noa Eshkol (2016), David Shrigley: Life Model II (2016), Tommy Hartung: King Solomons Mines (2017), and, in October, she will co-present (with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo) the first U.S. solo museum exhibition of Joe Bradley. While at the Rose, Conaty also collaborated with Art + Practice, Los Angeles, in the presentation of Fred Eversley: Black, White, Gray (201617), a focused examination of the artists critically important monochromatic sculptures of the 1970s, which opened at A+P and traveled to the Rose. Several of Conatys projects at the Rose have been inspired by the field of prints and drawings, from Shrigleys participatory Life Model II, which transformed the galleries into a life drawing studio, to Rose Video 10: Ana Mendieta (2017), pairing a haunting set of the artists body tracks drawings from the Rose collection with a contemporaneous performance film. Collection stewardship has been of paramount importance to Conatys work at the Rose, highlighted in her current exhibition Collection at Work (2017), which turns one of the museums galleries into a publicly accessible active work space for cataloguing, digitization, and conservation initiatives.
I'm excited to return to the Whitney, an institution for which I have the deepest respect and admiration, said Conaty. Following a tremendous period of growth, the Museum has broken new ground in its exhibition program while also making a decisive commitment to the care, research, and presentation of its collection. I look forward to collaborating with the Museums exceptional team, and to developing future projects and research initiatives that will highlight the richness and diversity of its extraordinary collection of drawings and prints.
Between 2008 and 2015, Conaty served as the Sue and Eugene Mercy, Jr., Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. There she curated the exhibition Abstract Generation: Now in Print (2013) and co-organized Print/Out (2012), both of which proposed a new range of approaches to contemporary print practice. At MoMA, she also collaborated on several exhibitions of postwar and contemporary art, such as Marcel Broodthaers: Retrospective (2016), Contemporary Art from the Collection (2010), Fluxus Preview (2009), and In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976 (2009), among others. In addition to growing the collection with acquisitions of works by artists including Sarah Crowner, Janice Kerbel, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Justin Matherly, and William Pope.L, Conaty led a project team dedicated to MoMAs Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, comprising some 8,000 works across multiple mediums. She was also an active member of the cross-departmental research initiative C-MAP (Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives in a Global Context) as part of a group that studies experimental practices in the former Eastern Europe, and serves as an adviser for the groups forthcoming anthology on art and theory post-1989 in Central and Eastern Europe.
Prior to MoMA, Conaty served as Biennial Coordinator for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, following previous posts as a curatorial intern and researcher at the Whitney on the exhibitions Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe and Picasso and American Art. She has also held positions at the Clark Art Institute; the Grey Art Gallery, N.Y.U.; the Guggenheim Museum; and the Harvard University Art Museums, where she organized an exhibition on Marcel Breuers bent-plywood furniture from the 1930s. A frequent instructor on modern and contemporary art for MoMA Courses and contributor to several publications at MoMA, Conaty has authored texts for, among others, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Whitney, and has published and lectured on a variety of topics, including Wallace Berman, Wade Guyton, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, George Maciunas, artists posters, and Avalanche magazine, the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany in 2003 and a Clark Art Institute Summer Fellowship in 2014, Conaty earned her B.A. from Middlebury College, M.A. from Williams College, and Ph.D. from N.Y.U.s Institute of Fine Arts.