The Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles Has Appointed Veteran Curator Anne Ellegood as Its New Director

Ellegood was the curator of a controversial Jimmie Durham retrospective in 2017.

Anne Ellegood. Photo by Mark Hanauer.

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has a new director. Anne Ellegood, currently a senior curator at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, will take over the post from longtime director Elsa Longhauser, who is stepping down from the post after 19 years.

“Anne is a remarkable curator with an ongoing commitment to social practice programming and scholarship. These accomplishments, along with her longstanding connections to the Los Angeles community, make her the ideal leader to usher in a new chapter in the museum’s 35-year history,” said search committee co-chairs Laura Donnelley and Randi Malkin Steinberger, the president and vice president, respectively, of the museum’s board of directors, in a statement.

Ellegood, who first worked as a counselor at a woman’s shelter before earning her masters at the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, has been at the Hammer since 2009. Previously, she served as curator of contemporary art at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, and associate curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

During her tenure at the Hammer, Ellegood organized shows with artists including Diana Al-Hadid, Kevin Beasley, Pedro Reyes, and Tschabalala Self, as well as exhibitions such as “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology” (2014, co-curated with Johanna Burton) and “All of this and nothing” (2011).

Jimmie Durham, Head, 2006 Wood, papier-mâché, hair, seashell, turquoise,metal tray. 10 × 16 × 16 in. (25 × 40 × 40 cm). Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy. Image courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City

Jimmie Durham, Head (2006). Photo courtesy of Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy, and kurimanzutto, Mexico City.

In 2018, she co-curated the “Made in LA” biennial with Erin Christovale and was also behind the Hammer’s controversial 2017 traveling retrospective of Jimmie Durham, which went to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and the Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Canada.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed the next executive director of ICA LA,” Ellegood said, adding: “I have a genuine affinity with ICA LA’s mission, which emphasizes the pleasure of art while embracing a belief in the capacity for art and artists to make vital contributions to the struggle for social equity and systemic change, and I look forward to furthering this mission and imagining with the museum’s committed board and staff the ICA LA’s next chapter.”

Ellegood takes up the post on September 16.

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