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MoMA PS1 Names Kate Fowle as Director

Kate Fowle.

Kate Fowle.

JAMES HILL

One of the most closely watched empty director’s seats in the art world has been filled.

MoMA PS1, the Museum of Modern Art’s contemporary art–focused satellite in Long Island City, Queens, said on Wednesday that it has tapped Kate Fowle, the former chief curator of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, to fill the position, which was left vacant when its longtime leader Klaus Biesenbach decamped for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles last year.

Fowle, who’s currently director-at-large for Independent Curators International in New York, will start the new position in September. She had been with Garage, which was founded by collectors Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich, from 2013 until this past March.

“It’s an honor to take the helm of MoMA PS1 at this juncture in its rich history,” Fowle said in a statement to press. “I look forward to working with the team and board to create a generative environment where our outlook is transformed through artists and their perspectives on the world.”

Agnes Gund, MoMA PS1’s chair, who made headlines earlier this week for coming out in favor of a wealth tax, said in a statement, “Kate is the perfect person to direct this vibrant institution and continue MoMA PS1’s role as one of the world’s leading contemporary art museums.”

At Garage, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA and opened in 2015, Fowle’s curatorial lineup included projects involving David Adjaye, Louise Bourgeois, Olga Chernysheva, Urs Fischer, Rashid Johnson, Irina Korina, Robert Longo, Anri Sala, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among many others. She was also responsible for creating the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art.

Prior to joining Garage, Fowle was executive director of ICI from 2009 to 2013, and she has also served as international curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2007–08) and as chair of the master’s program in curatorial practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, a course of study she founded in 2002.

She comes aboard the good ship PS1 at a moment when it is in the unique position of being the only open location for MoMA, which has temporarily shuttered its headquarters in Manhattan to complete renovation work; it’s scheduled for an October reopening. PS1 is also getting a new restaurant that is slated swing open its doors this summer.

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