Finding a Soft Landing, Former Artforum Editor-in-Chief Michelle Kuo Joins MoMA as Curator

"Her outstanding record as an editor, writer, and scholar will serve her well," says chief curator Ann Temkin.

Michelle Kuo, photo courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.
Michelle Kuo. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Michelle Kuo, who was editor-in-chief of Artforum magazine from 2010 to 2017, has been appointed curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, in a position endowed by Marlene Hess.

Kuo will contribute to the department’s acquisition program, the installation of the collection galleries, and the development of special exhibitions and catalogues, according to a statement released by MoMA. Her start date is April 2.

Kuo resigned from Artforum in late October, following accusations of sexual misconduct against longtime magazine publisher Knight Landesman, which were first made public in artnet News. After a lawsuit was filed the following day, Landesman resigned.

Kuo announced her resignation the day the allegations went public, though said she had informed management of her decision a week earlier, motivated by the mounting accusations against Landesman. She told ARTnews magazine: “I felt that, in light of the troubling allegations surrounding one of our publishers, I could no longer serve as a public representative of Artforum. We need to make the art world a more equitable, just, and safe place for women at all levels. And that can only be achieved when organizations and communities are bound by shared trust, honesty, and accountability.”

MoMA’s chief curator, Ann Temkin, welcomed Kuo to the curatorial team, saying she will bring “her wide-ranging experience and fresh perspective to the museum at an important moment of new thinking and initiatives. Moving from the space of a magazine to that of a museum, her outstanding record as an editor, writer, and scholar will serve her well as she joins us.”

Kuo said she is “honored to join the museum and take part in its groundbreaking and rigorous program.”

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