Tina Kukielski is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Art21,
a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a more creative world.
She previously held curatorial positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and has independently curated art projects around the world.
She was a cocurator of the acclaimed 2013 Carnegie International with Daniel Baumann
and Dan Byers that featured the work of Nicole Eisenman, Rodney Graham, Zanele Muholi, Pedro Reyes,
and Henry Taylor among others. She has curated museum exhibitions with Cory Arcangel and Antoine Catala (both at the Carnegie Museum) and Sadie Benning,
Corin Hewitt, Omer Fast, Taryn Simon, and Sara VanDerBeek (all for the Whitney) as well as numerous group shows including a recent exhibition called
Difference Engine co-curated with Arcangel at Lisson Gallery, New York.
Chris Byrne (CB): In 2013, you co-curated the 56th edition of the Carnegie International
and I understand that you lived in Pittsburgh for three years in preparation for the exhibition.
Is there one memorable anecdote about your time at the Carnegie Museum of Art which you’d like to share?
Tina Kukielski (TK): The most recent edition of the Carnegie International—the 57th—opened a few weeks ago
and it was a special opportunity to be back in Pittsburgh seeing old friends and visiting some of my favorite works in the museum’s collection.
Artists, gallerists, and curators love their quinquennial visit to Pittsburgh because it is always surprising to see the contemporary art that quietly resides in that city.
The collection at the Carnegie is a veritable history of the international exhibitions since their beginning in 1896,
creating a palimpsest of curatorial voices from the past including those of me and my co-curators five years ago.
It was thrilling to see works from our show like Nicole Eisenman’s plaster figure sculptures
and Phyllida Barlow’s towering assemblages occupy the galleries alongside the new works commissioned for the most recent edition by curator Ingrid Schaffner.
Highlights for me were Yuji Agematsu’s found object calendars as well as Art21 artist El Anatsui’s commission on the museum’s facade
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