Christine Y. Kim, one of the most closely watched curators in the U.S., will join the Tate museum network as a curator-at-large, based in Los Angeles and New York. For more than a decade, Kim has been at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she established herself as a force within the city’s art scene.
Kim’s curatorial credits at LACMA include two current shows: one featuring Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley’s portraits of the Obamas, the other a wide-ranging survey called “Black American Portraits.” Both were co-curated with Liz Andrews, who is now executive director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She also organized, with Whitney Museum curator Rujeko Hockley, the traveling Julie Mehretu survey, which opened at LACMA in 2019 and is now on view at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
At Tate, Kim will be focused on helping the museum network acquire and research works by North American artists. She is expected to start there in January 2022.
Early on in her career, Kim committed herself to promoting a diverse array of artists. Her first show to achieve more widespread fame was 2001’s “Freestyle,” which she co-curated, with Thelma Golden, while she was a curatorial assistant at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem. That exhibition provocatively theorized a tendency known as Post-Black art, whose purveyors resisted easy categorization, and offered Kehinde Wiley, Mark Bradford, and Wangechi Mutu one of their first major showcases. Also at the Studio Museum, Kim organized “Black Belt” (2003), which surveyed the interplay between African American and Asian American cultures.
In a statement, Kim suggested that she would continue to place an emphasis on diversity. “After twelve incredible years at LACMA, I am thrilled to bring my expertise in collection-building, focusing on works of art by living artists of colour, to a national and Canadian scope, to share on an expanded, global scale at Tate,” she said.
While at LACMA, where she began in 2009, Kim displayed a unique ability to curate blockbuster shows with elegance and intelligence. She oversaw a James Turrell retrospective that also traveled to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as major surveys devoted to Diana Thater and Isaac Julien. In 2018, she also organized a portion of the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea.
Gregor Muir, director of collections in Tate’s International Art department, said in a statement, “I’m delighted that she’ll be joining the team in this role. As an American living in the United States, Christine will also bring on-the-ground expertise to Tate’s activities in the region.”