The Armory Show has selected Gabriel Ritter, curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Jen Mergel, former senior curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, to oversee the fair’s 2018 Focus and Platform sections, respectively. A new curatorial leadership summit will also take place during the next edition of the fair, with curators convened for a daylong program relating to curatorial affairs chaired by Naomi Beckwith, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
Ritter will supervise a Focus section that the fair has vowed to double in size. Since being appointed head of contemporary art in May 2016, Ritter co-organized an “encyclopedic reinstallation” of his museum’s contemporary collection galleries. Prior to that, he served as an assistant curator at the Dallas Museum of Art for four years.
Mergel is an independent curator and current vice president of programming for the Association of Art Museum Curators. During her tenure at the Museum of Fine Arts, she helped facilitate over 350 acquisitions for the museum’s collection, including work by El Anatsui, Lynda Benglis, Mark Bradford, Tara Donovan, and Anish Kapoor. For the Armory Show, Mergel will develop large-scale site-specific artists projects for Platform section, which debuted at this year’s fair.
In a statement, Benjamin Genocchio, the Armory Show’s executive director, said, “The growth of these curated sections and the introduction of a curatorial leadership summit reflect the Armory Show’s core identity as a place for presenting new ideas and strong curatorial viewpoints.”