Southampton Arts Center has opened 'Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World'

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Southampton Arts Center has opened 'Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World'
Agnieszka Kurant, Post-fordite 3, 2019. Fossilized automotive paint, powdered rock, foam, metal alloy 30 x 29 x 31 cm. Image courtesy of Fusun Eczacibasi.



SOUTHAMPTON, NY.- Southampton Arts Center has opened an exhibition showcasing the unparalleled vision of 14 women art collectors, dedicated to championing contemporary artists and their practices, and driven by an ambition for change. Presented in celebration of Southampton Arts Center’s 10th anniversary and guest curated by Kate Fowle in collaboration with Folasade Ologundudu and Xiaoyu Weng, Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World marks the first exhibition of its kind for the institution, providing insights into the pioneering minds and impactful collections of these women through a shared dedication of discovery. Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World presents over 60 works from 59 artists and 14 collections.

Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World brings together works from the renowned collections of Fusun Eczacibasi, Agnes Gund, Jane Holzer, Pamela Joyner, Roya Khadjavi, Emily Fisher Landau, Christine Mack, Elisa Nuyten, Lisa Perry, Holly Peterson, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Joy Simmons, Neda Young and artist and collector Mickalene Thomas. This group of women strives to advocate for both critically acclaimed and emerging international artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Impacting the cultural landscape through contributions to established institutions, championing artists in the earliest days of developing their practice, and expanding the public art sphere through newly developed foundations and exhibition spaces, these pioneering women continue to drive dynamic discourse around contemporary art and further evolve the narrative of the art historical canon. The idea for exhibition was conceived by Simone Levinson, SAC’s Founding Co-Chair, and a collector in her own right.

With vast potential and equal challenges offered through access to such thoughtful and quality collections, curators Folasade Ologundudu and Xiaoyu Weng, in collaboration with Kate Fowle, selected works across various mediums from a wide-range of both established and emerging international artists such as Pacita Abad, Afruz Amighi, Bahar Behbahani, Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Vanessa German, Bronwyn Katz, Deana Lawson, Wangechi Mutu, Toni Ross, Anne Samat, Moffat Takadiwa, Hirosuke Yabe, and Haegue Yang, among others. The exhibition offers renewed perspectives on the act of making in order to facilitate a global exchange of ideas and understand art as a catalyst for change.

“Through Simone Levinson’s vision for SAC’s 10th anniversary highlighting an unparalleled group of women collectors, we have gathered a selection of works, many of which are being shown together for the first time, that together offer a place of discovery for our visitors; to encounter new artists and engage with contemporary culture,” said Folasade Ologundudu, Founder of Light Work, the creative platform rooted at the intersection of art, education, and culture, and co-curator of the exhibition. “It’s an honor to showcase the collections of some the world’s most important women collectors, whose stewardship and support of artists is truly unmatched.”

“We worked alongside these diverse and thoughtful collectors to bring this timely show to Southampton,” said Xiaoyu Weng, independent curator and writer, and co-curator of the exhibition. “These women have shared with us a large selection of artworks that they, and we, feel is important to present to the public right now. Weaving together the rich storylines of these works, the exhibition addresses topics that interact with our lives, and are relevant to complex social and cultural issues, such as identity, tradition, memory, spirituality, and meanings of being together.”

“This is the perfect project to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Southampton Art Center,” said Kate Fowle, Curatorial Senior Director, Hauser & Wirth, and co-curator of the exhibition. “We have curated an exhibition showing how these collectors are invested in supporting global artists and challenging the art historical canon, creating deep and storied collections along the way. They are true agents of change.”

Embracing the impact and importance of contemporary art, Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World conveys the key role women play in building strong narrative collections that inform critical issues in today’s world, exemplified in a Zanele Muholi portrait in investigation of culture and identity and Nick Cave’s Soundsuit, a safe haven from racial injustices. With each artist conveying a meditative focus on materiality and the process of making, like the intricate and time-consuming process of weaving by Alexandra Navratil, the exhibition transforms Southampton Arts Center into a site of patient restoration rooted in a reverence for discovery and the art of making.

Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World is sponsored by Sotheby’s.




The 10th anniversary season at Southampton Arts Center, including Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World, is initiated by co-chair and founder Simone Levinson, whose tenure at the arts center reveals her commitment to the stewardship and preservation of art in Southampton’s historic village. Levinson is a Founding Co-Chair of the museum and has long supported the Southampton arts scene.

Southampton Arts Center is committed to community building through the arts. We present and produce inspiring, inclusive, socially, and regionally relevant programs across all disciplines – welcoming, connecting, and collaborating with the diverse members of New York’s East End community and beyond. SAC is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Kate Fowle, Curatorial Senior Director, Hauser & Wirth

For nearly 30 years, Kate Fowle has developed her practice as a curator, writer, educator, and director. Currently she is the Curatorial Senior Director at Hauser & Wirth. Prior she was director of MoMA PS1 in New York; the chief curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow; and the director-at-large of Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York. She has also worked in China as the international curator of the Ullens Center and in 2002 was the co-founder of the first Master’s Program in Curatorial Practice on the West Coast of the US, located in San Francisco. Before moving to the United States, she was co-founder of Smith + Fowle in London, and initially trained as an artist in the early 1990s.

Folasade Ologundudu, Independent Curator & Writer

Folasade Ologundudu is a Brooklyn-born curator, podcast creator and writer seeking to uncover ideas related to the universal human condition. She has written art criticism, profiles, interviews, and essays for Artforum, ARTnews, Cultured Magazine, Frieze, Photograph Magazine, among other publications. Ologundudu is also the Founder of Light Work, a creative media platform rooted at the intersection of art, education, and culture. Through her podcast, Everything Is Connected, she holds conversations with artists and entrepreneurs deeply rooted in visual arts, media, youth culture, and community building.

Xiaoyu Weng, Independent Curator & Writer

Xiaoyu Weng is a curator and writer based in New York, whose practices focus on the impact of globalization, identity, and decolonization, as well as the intersection of art, science, and technology. Most recently, she was the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, and head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Previously, she was The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2018–2019, Weng served as the curator of the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art in Yekaterinburg, Russia. From 2010–2015, she was the director and curator of Asia Programs at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco and Paris. Weng continues to serve as an advisor for the Foundation.

Southampton Arts Center
Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World
July 22nd, 2023 - September 30th, 2023










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