The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College has named Lia Gangitano the winner of its 2018 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. The award, which comes with a $25,000 prize, recognizes “individuals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service to the field of exhibition practice.”
Past recipients of the award include Marcia Tucker (1999), Kasper König (2000), Lynne Cooke and Vasif Kortun (2006), Alanna Heiss (2007), Okwui Enwezor (2009), Lucy Lippard (2010), Helen Molesworth and Hans Ulrich Obrist (2011), Thelma Golden (2016), and Nicholas Serota (2017).
In 2011, Gangitano founded the nonprofit art space Participant Inc on New York’s Lower East Side. She has organized exhibitions there by Virgil Marti, Charles Atlas, Kathe Burkhart, Michel Auder, and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, among others. Alongside her work there, Gangitano has also been a curator at Waxing Thread in New York, a curatorial advisor at MoMA PS1, and, currently, a teacher of curatorial studies at Bard. She also serves on the boards of Primary Information and Dirty Looks.
In a statement, Tom Eccles, CCS Bard’s executive director, described Gangitano as “a curatorial pioneer presenting artists and artwork that have often been marginalized.” Her work, Eccles said, “has created and supported a vibrant and fundamentally diverse program built upon a community of ideas and artists.”