Prospect.3 New Orleans – Third Edition of New Orleans International Contemporary Art Biennial To Open in Fall 2014

Prospect.3 Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans

Curatorial Advisors Rita Gonzalez and Christine Y. Kim


New Orleans, LA, April 26, 2012Jane Farver, Consulting Director of Prospect New Orleans, along with the Board of Directors of U.S. Biennial, Inc., has announced that Prospect.3 New Orleans, the third edition of the international contemporary art biennial will now open in the Fall 2014.

“Presenting Prospect.3 in 2014 will allow us additional time to build strong relationships and develop dynamic collaborations with participating artists, and partnering cultural institutions in New Orleans and elsewhere, and to present an exhibition that is indelibly woven into the fabric of this most remarkable American city,” says Susan Brennan, Chair of the Board of U.S. Biennial. “Opening Prospect.3 in the fall of 2014 will also afford Prospect.3 the attention it deserves, avoiding scheduling conflicts with other major international art events in 2013 such as the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial, and the Carnegie International.”

Franklin Sirmans, Prospect.3 Artistic Director and Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), has already begun planning for the exhibition, including works of art created specifically for the Crescent City.

“There is a great deal of excitement as we look towards the next evolution of Prospect New Orleans,” says Sirmans. “We plan to work closely with artists and community partners to present a lively exhibition that is true to the original mission of Prospect New Orleans: to bring important contemporary art from around the world to the historic and culturally-exceptional city of New Orleans.”

Sirmans has announced that he will work with Rita Gonzalez and Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curators of Contemporary Art at LACMA, who will serve as curatorial advisors on Prospect.3. The biennial will include approximately 50 artists at venues ranging from museums and other art institutions to unique New Orleans sites.

As the first curator outside U.S. Biennial to take up the artistic directorship of Prospect New Orleans, Sirmans will establish the thematic structure of Prospect.3. Among the themes Sirmans plans to explore are the distinctions between self-taught art and academic art, a topic that has ties to the contemporary art scene in New Orleans. Additionally, in recognition of the burgeoning film industry in New Orleans, Sirmans plans to invite artists who incorporate film and video prominently in their work to participate in Prospect.3.

Further details on Prospect.3 New Orleans will be announced in early 2013.

About Franklin Sirmans, Artistic Director and Curator for Prospect.3 New Orleans

Franklin Sirmans is the Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), a post he has held since January 2010. Sirmans previously served as the head of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston, TX, for several years, where in 2008 he organized NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, an exhibition that later traveled to P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York and the Miami Art Museum. He was also the curator of Maurizio Cattelan: Is There Life After Death?, Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster: 1964-1966, and Steve Wolfe: On Paper, of which the latter two traveled to LACMA. A former U.S. Editor of Flash Art and Editor-in-Chief of ArtAsiaPacific magazines, Sirmans has written for several journals and newspapers on art and culture, including The New York Times, Newsweek International, Art in America, ARTnews, Grand Street, and Essence Magazine.

Sirmans was co-curator of Basquiat (2005-2006: Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), as well as, Make It Now: New Sculpture in New York at Sculpture Center; One Planet Under A Groove: Contemporary Art and Hip Hop (2001-2003: Bronx Museum of Art, Spelman College Art Gallery, Atlanta, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany); and Ralph Bunche: Diplomat for Peace and Justice at the Queens Museum of Art (2004).

Sirmans has edited numerous catalogues on contemporary art including Transforming the Crown: African, Asian, and Caribbean Artists in Britain (University of Chicago Press), Jean-Michel Basquiat (Tony Shafrazi Gallery), Freestyle: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Black Belt (The Studio Museum in Harlem), and has contributed to Gary Simmons (The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and The Studio Museum in Harlem), and Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston), in addition to several monographs. He was the 2005 Maryland Art Place Critic-in-Residence and an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Princeton University.

Born in New York City, Sirmans was raised in Harlem, Albany, and New Rochelle, New York. He received a B.A. in Art History and English from Wesleyan University.

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