Where is the great art being made in America today? In this episode, our guests Chrissie Iles (Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American art), Carolyn Ramo (executive director, Artadia) and Hamza Walker (executive director, LAXART) join our host Charlotte Burns to discuss the subject.
They talk about art being made throughout the United States in places outside the major market hubs, as well as ways to broaden the lens through which we view contemporary art in this country. “We’re currently in an extremely dynamic moment for emerging artists and for culture,” Iles says in conversation with our other guests, who talk about how collectors and curators might discover—and steward—the art of their region.
Click here for the full transcript
Charlotte Burns: Hello, and welcome to In Other Words. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and on today’s show, we’re talking about contemporary art across America, with a special focus on artists outside major market cities.
I’m joined by three great guests: Chrissie Iles, a senior curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art here in New York; Carolyn Ramo, the executive director of the non-profit, grant-making organization Artadia; and Hamza Walker, executive director of the independent art space, LAXART.
Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American art
Chrissie Iles is the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she focuses on contemporary art, film and video, and art of the 1960s and 70s. Though Iles has created major museum survey shows of work by well-known artists such as Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois and Sol Lewitt, she is regarded as a champion of younger, less-established artists.
Notable shows curated by Iles at the Whitney include “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art 1910-2016” (2016-17) and “Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977” (2001). She also co-curated the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennials.
In addition to her work at the Whitney, Iles teaches in the Fine Art Department at Columbia University and is a member of both the Graduate Committee at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and the Integrated Media Arts Advisory Board at Hunter College. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the Department of Art History at her alma mater, Bristol University, England.
executive director, LAXART
Hamza Walker is the executive director of the Los Angeles nonprofit art space LAXART and an adjunct professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining LAXART in 2016, was director of education and associate curator at the Renaissance Society, a non-collecting contemporary art museum in Chicago, for 22 years where he organized numerous shows and public programming and wrote extensively on the field of contemporary art.
Notable shows at the Renaissance Society include “Suicide Narcissus” (2013), “Black Is, Black Ain’t” (2008) and “New Video, New Europe” (2004). In addition to his work at the Renaissance Society, Walker also co-curated the Made in L.A. 2016 biennial. He has won the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement in 20014 and the prestigious Ordway Prize in 2010 for his significant impact on the field of contemporary art.
executive director, Artadia
Carolyn Ramo is the executive director of the non-profit arts organization Artadia. Since assuming the role in 2012, Ramo has helped the organization provide curator-driven grants and other impactful programs to visual artists in cities across the United States and outside of market centers.
Before joining Artadia, Ramo was a partner at Taxter & Sepngemann, a contemporary art gallery that focused on emerging artist. Prior to that, she worked at David Zwirner and Nicole Klagsbrun and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
The live record
Behind the Scenes with Chrissie Iles, Carolyn Ramo and Hamza Walker
For more on Chrissie Iles, Carolyn Ramo and Hamza Walker
Hamza Walker’s interview with Henry Taylor in Cultured Magazine
“Hamza Walker Hired as Director of LAXART” by Janelle Zara in ARTnews (2016)
Interview with Chrissie Iles, by Loney Abrams in Artspace (2017)
“Consumer Reports: Chrissie Iles” by The Editors of ARTnews (2017)
“The Art World Needs to Ditch Its Big-City Snobbery” by Carolyn Ramo in Arty (2017)