Podcast: Ingrid Schaffner, curator

Posted by: Roy Wilbur

Ingrid Schaffner is an American curator, art critic, writer, and educator, specializing in art history. She is currently at work on the 57th Carnegie International (Ci18) which will open at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, in fall 2018.

Known for the breadth of her art historical knowledge and her exceptional collaborations with artists such as Richard Artschwager, Barry LeVa, Karen Kilimnik, Maira Kalman and Anne Tyng, Schaffner’s work often coalesces around themes of archiving and collecting, photography, feminism and alternate modernisms—especially Surrealism. Her many significant monographic and thematic exhibitions have brought attention to under-recognized artists and little-explored themes and practices in the art world. From 2000 to 2015, Schaffner directed the exhibition program at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the leading museums dedicated to exhibiting the innovative art of our time.

Schaffner was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in Los Gatos, California, and attended Mount Holyoke College. She then moved to New York City to attend the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, where she was a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow, and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she received a master’s degree in art history. As an independent curator and writer, Schaffner worked with artists, curators, and writers such as Richard Artschwager, Nancy Rosen and Honor Moore on archiving and research projects, and launched the journal Pink with Donna Ghelerter. She wrote numerous reviews and features for Artforum, Art in America, Parkett and Frieze, and was a contributor to exhibition catalogues on the work of Marlene Dumas, Josiah McElheny and Bruce Nauman.

After organizing shows for The Drawing Center, Swiss Institute, Haus der Kunst (Munich), Independent Curators International, White Columns, Hayward Gallery (London), the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and elsewhere, Schaffner was invited by then-director Claudia Gould to reshape and oversee ICA’s curatorial department.

Image: Ingrid-Schaffner, photo credit: Erin Leland

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