Independent Curators International (ICI) announced that Michael Govan will be presented with the 2015 Leo Award at ICI’s 40th Anniversary Benefit & Auction this November. The annual award, named after famed art dealer Leo Castelli, honors those who have demonstrated outstanding support of contemporary artists and have made groundbreaking contributions to the field. Previous winners have included Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein, Miuccia Prada, and Dasha Zhukova.
Govan said in a statement, “It’s an honor to be part of an ICI event. ICI’s exhibitions and support for independent curators have helped shape the field over many years. And ICI often gives art and artists exposure ahead of the curve.”
Govan has held leadership positions at major art institutions around the country for more than 25 years, and currently serves as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Since becoming director in 2006, Govan has heightened LACMA’s global reputation while cultivating its presence as a cultural and civic center in Los Angeles, and has prioritized the interaction of contemporary artists with historical collections via commissions and artist-curated shows. Before 2006, Govan was president and director of Dia Art Foundation, and notably led the establishment of Dia:Beacon in the Hudson Valley in addition to expanding the institution’s collection.
In the same release, ICI’s executive director Renaud Proch stated, “As ICI celebrates 40 years of leadership in the field and international collaborations with curators, we are proud to recognize one of the most significant museum directors of our times. Michael Govan’s vision reflects ICI’s mission in many ways–international in scope, supportive to artists and to curators, and focused on building institutions that connect people and fulfill the civic role of art. Since 1990, ICI has recognized with the Leo Award the contributions of pioneering individuals who foster new opportunities and supportive environments for contemporary art. This year, on this special anniversary and important milestone for ICI, we are honored to welcome Michael Govan into the ranks of the Leos.”