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Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announce Pigeons on the Grass, Alas: Contemporary Curators Talk about the Field

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is pleased to announce the release of a new pocket-size book on curating, featuring interviews with 41 curators about their influences, aspirations, and professional challenges. Illustrated with drawings by Pew Fellow Sarah McEneaney, the book offers a candid assessment of the field at this moment in time.

Pigeons on the GrassContributors:
Glenn Adamson, Anne Barlow, Carlos Basualdo, Mark Beasley, Shana Berger, Dan Byers, Joseph del Pesco, Sean Dockray & Fiona Whitton, Christopher Eamon, Mai Abu El Dahab, Peter Eleey, Nicholas Frank, Eric Fredericksen, Daniel Fuller, Lance Fung, Cesar Garcia, Rita Gonzalez, Jennifer Gross, Andrea Grover, Pablo Helguera, Jens Hoffmann, Stuart Horodner, Hou Hanru, Ruba Katrib, Lisa Melandri, Helen Molesworth, Jessica Morgan, Aram Moshayedi, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Jenifer Papararo, Daniela Perez, Ralph Rugoff, Ingrid Schaffner, Paul Schimmel, Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Elizabeth Smith, Robert Storr, Astria Suparak, Claire Tancons, Nato Thompson, Gilbert Vicario, and Namita Gupta Wiggers. Pigeons on the Grass, Alas includes a bookmark with the Gertrude Stein poem after which the book is titled.

Excerpts from the interviews:
“Wide-ranging, unprejudiced, repeated, protracted, and in-depth looking constitutes the bare essentials of the curator’s craft.”
–Robert Storr

“I’m not interested in perpetuating the increasingly artificial distinction between curators and artists.”
–Claire Tancons

“Working in the public sphere can allow projects to escape the bracket of art, and often they can simply exist as unexplained phenomena in the world.”
–Nato Thompson

“Part of my definition of a successful exhibition is one that confuses a little but doesn’t leave the viewer feeling excluded.”
–Ralph Rugoff

“Being an artist allows you to live and act outside the confines of normal societal protocol; whether that is a liberation of or from the social depends on how many people join you.”
–Andrea Grover

Excerpt from the introduction:
“This book is a convening of experts unlike any other we have organized. Why? Because the ‘convening’ only takes place within its pages, rather than inside our own walls. We started by inviting professional curators—pigeons, as we affectionately designated them, in homage to Gertrude Stein—from near and far to respond to an evolving list of questions about their approach to their work—a ‘pigeonnaire,’ if you will. Intentionally general, the pigeonnaire probed such topics as influences, daily practice, issues in the field, artist-curator relationships, and the curator’s responsibility to society at large. Over the course of a year, the pigeons dropped by with their answers, and as they did, we summoned them to roost on The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s website. When more than forty had nested, we decided that it was time to capture the moment in an absorbing little pocket book.”

About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
At The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, we envision Greater Philadelphia as a widely recognized hub for dynamic cultural experiences and a place in which creative expression and interpretation, as well as the exchange of ideas, are vital forces in public life. We endeavor to realize this vision in two ways: by supporting area leaders who think ambitiously and innovate boldly in their public offerings, who are rigorous in their programmatic processes, who employ prudent governance and management practices, and who are adventurous in the ways they interact with their audiences; and, by advancing the fields we serve through research and knowledge-sharing on distinctive, imaginative, and effective practices.

To order the book:
D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
T +1 212 627 1999 / F +1 212 627 9484
Customer service: T +1 800 338 2665
Avery Lozada: [email protected]

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