Katy Siegel, the inaugural Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University, is representing the United States at an important international art forum coming up in 2017, the Venice Biennale.
Siegel will co-curate a site-specific installation for the U.S. Pavilion in Venice, which will be on view from May 13 through November 26, 2017. Siegel is also curator of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. She will co-curate this project with her colleague at Brandeis, Christopher Bedford, and Los Angeles–based artist Mark Bradford will create the installation.
Siegel’s primary interests include the relation between postwar and contemporary art, and scholarship that accounts for both material and social being/making. Her most recent book is an edited volume, “The heroine Paint”: After Frankenthaler; she is the author of Since ’45: America and the Making of Contemporary Art, which details the collision of American social history and European modernism, as well as the editor and sole essayist of Abstract Expressionism.
As curator of the Rose Art Museum, her exhibitions have included Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler; Light Years: Jack Whitten, 1971-1974; and The Matter that Surrounds Us: Wols and Charline von Heyl. Other curated exhibitions include High Times Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-75, and she is co-curator with Okwui Enwezor and Ulrich Wilmes of Postwar: Art Between the Atlantic and the Pacific, 1945-1965, opening at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2016.
About the Biennale U.S. Pavilion
The Biennale is based at a park, the Giardini, which includes a large exhibition hall as well as permanent national pavilions, which are the property of the individual countries. The number of countries represented is still growing.
The U.S Pavilion was constructed in 1930, and the Grand Central Art Galleries operated it until 1954, when it was sold to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s shows were organized by MOMA, Art Institute of Chicago and Baltimore Museum of Art. MOMA withdrew from the Biennale in 1964, and then it was sold to the Guggenheim Foundation. Since 1986 the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has worked with the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Department of State, and the Fund for Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions in the organization of the visual arts exhibitions at the U.S. Pavilion.
Every two years museum curators from across the country detail their visions for the American pavilion in proposals that are reviewed by the National Endowment for the Arts Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, a group made up of curators, museum directors and artists who then give their recommendations. Many famous artists have been featured at the Biennale, such as Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and others.