MoMA PS1 prepares for Greater New York

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MoMA PS1 prepares for Greater New York
Greater New York 2020 Curatorial Team (left to right): Serubiri Moses, Kate Fowle, Inés Katzenstein, and Ruba Katrib. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Marissa Alper.

by Jason Farago

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- When she was named director of MoMA PS1 this summer, British curator Kate Fowle said she would still make time to organize exhibitions and work directly with artists. Next year, she will — as one of four curators of Greater New York, the art center’s once-every-five-year survey of contemporary art made in and around the city.

The fifth edition of Greater New York will open in the fall of 2020 and promises to be another sprawling survey of new art, principally (but not only) by up-and-coming artists. Leading the selection team is Ruba Katrib, the PS1 curator who co-organized “Theater of Operations,” its current, building-spanning exhibition of art in the shadow of the wars in Iraq. Joining Katrib are Fowle; Ugandan independent curator Serubiri Moses; and Inés Katzenstein, MoMA’s curator of Latin American art, who organized its current landmark exhibition “Sur Moderno.”

The quartet has not yet settled on a list of artists, but they have already had “a lot of conversations between ourselves about the New York that we’re in right now,” said Fowle. A focus of their discussion, she added, has been changing patterns of migration to New York; for example, the city now has the country’s largest Native American population. The exhibition will therefore zero in on “New York as a network,” and examine the friendships and alliances that local artists might forge in and beyond the city. “So many people who call New York home also have a home elsewhere,” said Fowle. “You can have many homes at once.”

The first edition of Greater New York took place in 2000 and marked the first collaboration between PS1 and the Museum of Modern Art, which had merged the previous year. That show and the one in 2005 focused on the work of up-and-comers. “But it’s very different now,” Fowle said. “It’s extremely difficult to survive in New York as a young, emerging artist.” With that in mind, the 2020 Greater New York will include artists from all generations, since “some of the most interesting conversations between people at the moment are intergenerational,” she said.

While the exact opening date has not yet been set, the curators have less than a year to fan out across the city — or beyond — to discover new artists wherever they work. “We’re going to have to move fast, in terms of the studio visits that we do,” said Fowle. “But you don’t want to move like a pack.”

She added: “PS1 has always been nimble in the way that it’s done things, and things come together based on the fact that we trust each other’s viewpoints and we bring different perspectives. We’re not trying to do this exhibition by committee.”

© 2019 The New York Times Company

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