MoMA PS1 and the Kitchen announce key leaders departures

Peter Eleey is resigning as chief curator of MoMA PS1 at the end of the year Peter Ross

Staff turnover is gripping New York City and its art circles, as underlined by announcements today by MoMA PS1 and the Kitchen that top leaders are stepping down. Peter Eleey, who joined MoMA PS1 in 2010, is resigning as chief curator at the end of the year, and the Kitchens director and chief curator, Tim Griffin, will be leaving his position at years end as well.

Eleey says the effects of the coronavirus pandemic drove his decision. “The many impacts of the pandemic—on the museum, on the city, and on all of us—have moved me to think about the next chapters in my work and my life,” he says in an email to MoMA PS1 staff members. He says he will continue to work on planned exhibitions devoted to the artists Gregg Bordowitz and Deana Lawson.

A museum spokeswoman says that it is unsure of Eleeys plans after the end of the year.

Eleey, who has been chief curator since 2016, says he considered himself “lucky” to work under the former MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach and MoMAs director, Glenn Lowry, as well as MoMA PS1s current director, Kate Fowle, who took over last year. He adds that he “will look forward to the next chapter of this special institution”.

Fowle praised the curators “exemplary leadership of the museums program” in an email to staff members and wished him “continued success”. He became chief curator in 2016: of more than 40 shows he has organised, Fowle particularly cites exhibitions devoted to Maria Lassnig, Simon Denny; Henry Taylor James Byars and Huma Bhabha. “His most recent show with Ruba Katrib, on the history of the Iraq war, Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011, was inventive and topical and gave me a more informed perspective on the region,” she adds.

The Kitchen, a nonprofit experimental art space in Chelsea, says that Griffin will continue as an advisor to ensure a smooth transition but is assuming a post as a visiting associate professor in the art history and English departments at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where his wife, Johanna Burton, is director of the Wexner Center for the Arts.

The Kitchen's director and chief curator, Tim Griffin, who is resigning Courtesy of the Kitchen

“I can't imagine a more inspiring or humbling experience among artists than what The Kitchen, and its dedicated staff and board, has offered me over the years," Griffin says in a statement. “Few places have such a history, decade after decade, of presenting the unexpected.”

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