CREATIVE TIME, THE PUBLIC ARTS ORGANIZATION that commissioned Kara Walker’s monumental, sugar-coated sphinx/mammy sculpture in Brooklyn and Nick Cave’s choreographed parade of colorful “horses” through Grand Central Station, announced two appointments today—a new hire and a promotion. Elvira Dyangani Ose is joining Creative Time as senior curator and Nato Thompson, who previously served as chief curator, is being elevated to artistic director.
Founded in 1973, Creative Time commissions public art projects, collaborating with artists to present ambitious and innovative works guided by the organization’s core values: art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression.
“Creative Time is dedicated to the ability of artists’ voices to shape society, and the importance of free expression in public space,” Creative Time Executive Director Katie Hollander said in the announcement. “That is a vision both Nato and Elvira share, and I could not be more excited to be working with them both in its pursuit.”
“Creative Time is dedicated to the ability of artists’ voices to shape society, and the importance of free expression in public space. That is a vision both Nato and Elvira share, and I could not be more excited to be working with them both in its pursuit.”
— Creative Time Executive Director Katie Hollander
LONDON-BASED DYANGANI OSE brings an international perspective to New York-based Creative Time. An independent curator and lecturer in visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, she also serves on the Prada Foundation’s Thought Council.
Over the past year, Dyangani Ose curated three major presentations at the foundation in Milan. She organized “Betye Saar: Uneasy Dancer,” a comprehensive survey of the Los Angeles artist’s career. It was 90-year old Saar’s first exhibition in Italy and featured more than 80 works created in a span of 50 years, from 1966 to 2016. “Theaster Gates: True Value,” the Chicago-based artist’s first exhibition in Milan, which takes its title from an installation featuring the entire contents of a shuttered hardware store, was also curated by Dyangani Ose. Also in 2016, she presented “Nástio Mosquito: Template Temples of Tenacity,” composed of three new works by the Angola-born artist—a site-specific installation, audio-visual project, and a series performances.
WATCH VIDEO of Elvira Dyangani Ose walking through and discussing “Betye Saar: Uneasy Dancer” exhibition
Dyangani Ose also served as curator of the eighth edition of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art in Sweden (GIBCA 2015); curator for Spain’s Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo; and artistic director of the Rencontres Picha, Lubumbashi Biennial (2013) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Previously, she was curator International Art at the Tate Modern (2011-2014).
READ MORE about Elvira Dyangani Ose joining Creative Time in brief interview with The Art Newspaper
IN ADDITION TO ITS COLLABORATIONS with Walker (“A Subtlety”) and Cave (“Heard NY”), Creative Time’s recent projects include “Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn,” a monthlong exhibition co-presented with Weeksville Heritage Center that brought the neighborhood to life and featured artists Simone Leigh, Xenobia Bailey, Otabenga Jones & Associates, and cinematographer Bradford Young. Creative Time also hosts an annual summit, a global convening that explores the intersection of art and politics.
Thompson and Dyangani Ose are expected to collaborate on Creative Time’s future programming, presenting important contemporary art that breaks down geographic, racial, and socioeconomic barriers and prioritizes cultivating a broader global audience. Dyangani Ose is maintaining her post at Goldsmiths, and officially joins Creative Time in July.
“I’m honored to be joining Creative Time,” says Elvira Dyangani Ose, Creative Time Senior Curator. “The quality and impact of the work that this organization has done over its history is politically and culturally challenging and very much in line with my current academic and curatorial interests. I look forward to working with Katie and Nato and the whole team, bringing the socially relevant work that Creative Time is known for into public forums.” CT
Elvira Dyangani Ose has contributed to a number of volumes. She co-edited “Betye Saar: Uneasy Dancer,” the exhibition catalog that complements the artist’s retrospective at the Prada Foundation. Her writing also appears in Nick Cave’s Epitome.