Jay Sanders Appointed Executive Director and Chief Curator of Artists Space

The Whitney curator will take the reins in April of this year.

Jay Sanders. Photo courtesy Instagram.

Jay Sanders has been named executive director and chief curator of New York’s Artists Space, the organization announced via Instagram late yesterday, Monday February 13. He succeeds Stefan Kalmár, who left the post last autumn for a directorship position at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to announce Jay Sanders as Executive Director and Chief Curator at Artists Space,” the nonprofit’s Instagram caption reads, complete with a shining heart emoji. Art world denizens—including Tate Modern curator Catherine Wood, White Columns’ Matthew Higgs, independent curator Piper Marshall, and artist Oscar Tuazon—have been quick to respond with congratulatory comments and well-wishes.

Sanders is slated to begin in April, though Artists Space still has yet to find a new home following the loss of its longtime SoHo location this past June.

Prior to his appointment, Sanders held the role of curator of performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which he joined after co-curating the critically lauded 2012 Whitney Biennial with Elisabeth Sussman.

Sanders is widely regarded as responsible for transforming the institution’s performance program in his five years as curator. He delved into Whitney archives to revisit performances dating back to the 1960s, in an aim to present the museum’s historic elements alongside contemporary performance practices.

Under his tutelage, the Whitney presented exhibitions and series involving DANCENOISE, Takehisa Kosugi, New Theater, and Laura Poitras, and saw newly commissioned works by Matana Roberts and MPA.

Sanders also has experience in the commercial sector, having begun his career at Marianne Boesky Gallery and then later Greene Naftali gallery, both in New York. During that time, he independently curated programs and events throughout New York City for White Columns, SculptureCenter, Performa, and Anthology Film Archives, among others.

“Jay Sanders has the vision, energy, and sense of adventure that Artists Space demands, combined with great depth of critical insight and a wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary art,” David Joselit and Eleanor Cayre, the co-chairs of Artists Space’s executive search committee, said in a joint statement, according to ARTnews.

“We could not have hoped to recruit a more brilliant executive director to carry forward this essential institution.”

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