Appointments Museums USA

MoCA Los Angeles hires Helen Molesworth as chief curator

Her reputation with living artists likely at the forefront of the museum’s decision

Helen Molesworth

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, is continuing its staff overhaul with the appointment of Helen Molesworth as chief curator, a position she is due to begin on 1 September. The selection is part of the museum’s overall restructuring following the installation of Phillipe Vergne as director in March.

Molesworth is a curator that is admired by many Los Angeles artists, such as Catherine Opie, who recently rejoined the board after quitting over the museum’s direction in July 2012. “I have worked with Helen on two occasions and my regards for her brilliance as a curator is with utmost respect,” Opie said in a press statement. Lari Pittman praised the decision, saying Molesworth is “committed to artists” and John Baldessari, who also rejoined the board, told the Los Angeles Times that “obviously she’ll do great in my mind. I’m very happy”. Her reputation with living artists was likely at the forefront of the museum’s decision. “She is a marvelous scholar and writer and knows how to listen, work and dialogue with artists,” Vergne said in a press release.

Molesworth joins MoCA from the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston, where she has been chief curator since 2010. Her curatorial interests have often tended towards political exhibitions, with shows like “This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s” at the ICA and “ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the Aids Crisis, 1987-1993,” at the Harvard Art Museum.

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