Sabine Breitwieser Appointed Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art

New York, – Independent curator, author, and lecturer Sabine Breitwieser has been appointed Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, it was announced by MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry.

Ms. Breitwieser, who from 1988 to 2007 served as founding Director and Curator of the Generali Foundation, a public contemporary art museum in Vienna, succeeds Klaus Biesenbach, who last year was appointed Director of MoMA PS1, the Museum’s affiliate in Long Island City, Queens, and Chief Curator at Large at MoMA. She will begin her new position at MoMA on October 4.

“Throughout an extensive international search, Sabine Breitwieser emerged as the ideal candidate,” said Mr. Lowry. “She has tremendous experience in building a collection and a track record of organizing outstanding exhibitions. Her singular voice as a curator will be a great addition to MoMA.”

In her new role, Ms. Breitwieser will lead a staff of six, and will oversee the department’s program of special exhibitions, installations from the collection, and acquisitions. One of MoMA’s seven curatorial departments, the Department of Media and Performance Art collects, exhibits, and preserves time-based art, and holds a collection of more than 1,700 works of moving image installations, single-channel video, performance and documentary evidence, motion- and sound-based works, and other works that represent time or duration and are made for and presented in a gallery setting. Formerly the Department of Media, the department’s name was changed in 2009 to better reflect the department’s exhibition and acquisition strategy.

Ms. Breitwieser said, “I’m thrilled to expand MoMA’s engagement in media and performance art and to enlarge the collection with significant new acquisitions in the coming years. In its pioneering times media and performance emerged as a reaction and in opposition to the ideology of modernism, in other words, as emancipatory movements negotiating the physical and the social space of the art. These media are highly relevant to today’s artistic practices, which modern and contemporary art museums must embrace. Media and performance art are among the most popular and cutting-edge fields in the arts, and the renewed interest in performance that we are currently experiencing is very exciting.”

Ms. Breitwieser is Secretary and Treasurer of CIMAM—the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art. As Director and Curator of the Generali Foundation she built the institution’s programs and a comprehensive and distinctive collection, which were published in Exhibitions 1989-2007 (2008) and Occupying Space (2003). At the Generali Foundation she has curated numerous projects and edited as many publications, retrospectives and monographic books of artists such as Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Andrea Fraser, Mary Kelly, Edward Krasiński, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gustav Metzger, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula. Among her most important topic related exhibitions and publications are Designs for the Real World, double life, RE-PLAY, vivencias/life experience or White Cube/Black Box.

In 2009, her large thematic exhibition Modernologies opened at the Museu d’Art Contemporani (MACBA) in Barcelona and traveled to the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2010. She curated Which Life?, an exhibition conceived in the frame of the “curatorial project” at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Currently she is also working on Utopia and Monument, a two-stage exhibition for the public space at the Steirischer Herbst festival in Graz, Austria.

Her exhibition Reorganizing Structure by Drawing Through it. Drawing by Gordon Matta-Clark, organized for the Generali Foundation, was seen at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), in 1998.

Ms. Breitwieser holds a Doctor Juris from the University of Vienna, and studied law at the Johannes-Kepler-University Linz. She has written extensively on contemporary art and lectured in universities, at conferences and art institutions all over the world.

Image: Sabine Breitwieser Photo: M. Ziegelboeck

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