High Line appoints new curator to bring art to New York landmark

Dezeen Wire:
Friends of the High Line has announced that curator Cecilia Alemani is to be placed in charge of the public art programme for the popular High Line urban park in New York.

In her new role, Alemani will be responsible for organising a rotating programme of site-specific installations, public art commissions, collaborations and events in and around the High Line aimed at attracting visitors to the park, which was designed by landscape designers James Corner Field Operations with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

See our previous stories on the High Line park here and all of our features on park and gardens here.

The following text is from Friends of the High Line:

A New Curator for High Line Art

Friends of the High Line is pleased to announce that Cecilia Alemani will be appointed the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and Director of High Line Art Program. A distinguished independent curator and writer, Cecilia is currently a guest curator for the upcoming Performa 11, and a collaborator on the Frame section at the Frieze Art Fair in London and Frieze Talks series in New York. Cecilia succeeds Lauren Ross, who left the position in June and is now the Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In this position, Cecilia will lead High Line Art, a program presented by Friends of the High Line that introduces site-specific, temporary public art commissions, collaborations, and events in and around the High Line to the more than two million people who visit the park each year. Cecilia will bring to High Line Art international experience as an independent curator and writer, and a history of curatorial collaborations with museums, foundations, non-profit art organizations, and cultural institutions, including MoMA/PS1, New York; X Initiative, New York; Artists Space, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tate Modern, London; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy; and Venice International Film Festival, Venice, Italy.

“After an extensive search, it is clear that Cecilia is the best candidate to lead High Line Art. Cecilia is a thoughtful, forward-thinking curator who will bring an innovative approach to structuring the public art program on the High Line,” said Donald R. Mullen, Jr., the founding supporter of High Line Art and Board member of Friends of the High Line. “I have often said that the High Line is the new museum mile. High Line Art celebrates the park’s role in connecting two neighborhoods that make up the cultural hub of New York City, with the more than 400 galleries and cultural organizations that populate the streets below the park. Cecilia’s curatorial leadership will elevate High Line Art to new level in New York City and the international art world.”

“We are pleased to welcome Cecilia to Friends of the High Line. The rotating series of public art on the High Line is one of the ways we encourage the public to come back to the park again and again. With Cecilia’s vision and experience, High Line Art will expand the opportunities for the public to discover art and performance in ways that are accessible, engaging, and complementary of the High Line itself,” said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, Friends of the High Line. “Since Joshua David and I founded Friends of the High Line in 1999, we have worked with the art community in the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea to celebrate the High Line. High Line Art builds upon this history now that the park is open.”

About Cecilia Alemani
Cecilia Alemani is an independent curator and writer. From 2009 to 2010, she served as Curatorial Director of X Initiative, New York, a year-long experimental non-profit space where she curated numerous exhibitions including solo shows by Keren Cytter, Luke Fowler, Hans Haacke, Christian Holstad, Derek Jarman, Mika Tajima, Tris Vonna-Michell and Artur Zmijewski. At X Initiative she conceived and organized more than 50 events including performances, panel discussions, symposia, lectures, concerts and screenings. In June, 2009, Cecilia co-founded No Soul For Sale, a festival of independent spaces, non-profit organizations, and artists collectives which took place at X Initiative, and at Tate Modern – Turbine Hall in London in May, 2010 as part of the museum’s tenth anniversary celebration. She has organized numerous exhibitions including The Comfort of Strangers (MoMA/PS1, New York, 2010); boundLES (at numerous venues in the Lower East Side, New York); ONLYCONNECT (Bloomberg Headquarters with Art in General, New York, 2008); and Things Fall Apart All Over Again (Artists Space, New York, 2005). Alemani holds a BA degree in Philosophy from the University of Milan (2001) and an MA in Curatorial Studies (2005) from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

High Line Art
Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions innovative, temporary, and site-specific artworks to provide park visitors with a unique and enriching experience and introduce contemporary artists to a wide audience. Since the program was founded in 2009, High Line Art has commissioned more than ten site-specific installations, including artworks by Kim Beck; Francis Cape; Spencer Finch; Valerie Hegarty; Richard Galpin; Demetrius Oliver; Lisa Sigal and Paul Ramirez Jonas; Joel Sternfeld; Julianne Swartz; Sarah Sze; and Stephen Vitiello, as well as collaborations with Creative Time, Performa, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. In 2009, High Line Art was awarded first place for Best Show in a Public Space by the International Association of Art Critics. More than six million visitors have come to the High Line since the first section opened in 2009.