Longtime MoMA Curator and Dedicated Talent-Hunter Christian Rattemeyer Has Been Named SculptureCenter’s New Director
He is the latest in a string of high-profile departures from MoMA.
Christian Rattemeyer, a longtime associate curator in the Museum of Modern Art’s department of drawings and prints, has a new gig. He has been appointed as director of SculptureCenter in Long Island City, the sculpture-focused kunsthalle that has provided a number of rising and overlooked talents with their first major institutional exhibitions, from Nicola L to Anthea Hamilton.
Rattemeyer begins his new role on November 1 and succeeds former director Mary Ceruti, who left earlier this year to become director of Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. The German-born curator is the latest in a string of high-profile departures from MoMA, which is currently closed ahead of its grand reopening this fall. Over the past few years, MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach has left to lead MOCA in Los Angeles; painting and sculpture curator Laura Hoptman has become director of the Drawing Center in New York; and former associate director Kathy Halbreich has taken the reins at the Rauschenberg Foundation.
For his part, Rattemeyer brings to SculptureCenter a long track record of working with emerging and contemporary artists. He began his career as an artist’s assistant at the ninth edition of documenta in his hometown of Kassel in 1992 and went on to help produce documentas 10 and 11. (Having been born in Kassel, did he really have any other fate than to become a contemporary art curator?)
In 1997, Rattemeyer founded Osmos, a contemporary project space in Berlin. He would go on to co-curate the third and fourth International Biennials for Film and Architecture Berlin before moving to New York in 2003, where he joined Artists Space as curator.
During his tenure at MoMA, Rattemeyer organized noteworthy exhibitions including “Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1960–1980” (2015) and “Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan” (2012). He is currently organizing SURROUNDS: 11 Installations, a sweeping presentation of influential installations from the past two decades, which will help inaugurate the expanded MoMA this fall.
Rattemeyer’s extensive international network as well as his eye for spotting emerging talent appear to have been significant draws for the artist-founded institution. Artist Carol Bove, who is president of the board, called Rattemeyer “a passionate idealist.” Andreas Beroutsos, SculptureCenter’s board chair, remarked that Rattemeyer’s “deep and geographically broad roots in art history and contemporary art” and “genuine focus on teamwork and people-and-artist development” made him “the logical choice.”
Rattemeyer hopes to expand the museum’s activities both locally and globally. “I hope to work with the museum’s dedicated team and board to strengthen our partnerships and engagement abroad, and deepen the opportunities we provide for our artists and our audiences,” he said in a statement.
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