Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baume leaving ICA

Nicholas Baume, the chief curator at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, is leaving the museum to become director of New York's Public Art Fund in September, The New York Times reports.

Baume is expected to begin work in New York on Sept. 21, 2009.

“There were a number of exceptional candidates, but the selection committee and I recognized in Nicholas the key qualities that make for a successful director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund: bold curatorial vision, strong artist relationships, superb leadership skills, as well as a passion for New York City and public art,” Public Art Fund President Susan Freedman said in a Public Art Fund press release.

Baume arrived at the ICA in 2003 after curatorial work in his native Australia and at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. In Boston, he oversaw a staff of eight while organizing theme shows like "Super Vision,” which opened the new ICA in 2006, and "Getting Emotional" at the old Back Bay ICA in 2005 that were often baggy and unfocused. But his talent shined as he curated major, critically-acclaimed solo surveys by Tara Donovan (with curator Jen Mergel) in 2008, Anish Kapoor in 2008, and Thomas Hirschhorn in 2005.

“New York City has always fired the artistic imagination. From Andy Warhol to Francis Alys, from Keith Haring to Jeff Koons, artists have found both inspiration and opportunity in this extraordinary place. Public Art Fund has played a key role in making the city itself a platform for contemporary artists,” Baume said in the press release. “ I’m thrilled to have the chance to build on that legacy, connecting new art and diverse audiences to harness the creative energy of our moment.”

Another update:
"After an illustrious six years at the ICA, Nicholas Baume is leaving the ICA to join the Public Art Fund in New York effective August 21," ICA director Jill Medvedow said in an ICA press release. "This is a wonderful opportunity for Nicholas and we are very happy for him and proud of his contributions to the ICA. He led the curatorial transition into our new building, including organizing 'Super Vision,' 'Anish Kapoor: Past Present, Future,' and co-organizing Tara Donovan, as well as the Momentum exhibitions, including Kader Attia, and Gerard Byrne, Rodney McMillian; and the building of the ICA collection. Nicholas’ elegant prose, keen eye and clear focus on art, artists and ideas have made an enormous contribution to the success of the ICA. We wish him well in his new post."


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