The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announces the appointment of Inés Katzenstein (Argentina, 1970) as the inaugural Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America. In this role, she will provide intellectual and administrative leadership to the institution as it expands its approach to the study and interpretation of modern and contemporary art from Latin America. Endowed by Gustavo Cisneros and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, the Institute is poised to become the preeminent research center in the field of Latin American art, building upon MoMA’s long history of studying the artists, architects, and filmmakers of the region and acquiring and exhibiting their work. The Institute’s programs will include working with visiting scholars and fellows; presenting symposia, lectures, and education programs; and producing publications, in both print and digital formats, on subjects related to Latin American art.
Katzenstein, who worked at the Museum early in her career, has also been appointed as Curator of Latin American Art. In this capacity she will organize major exhibitions; oversee installations of MoMA’s Latin American collection, working closely and collaboratively with all curatorial departments; and develop strategies for acquiring Latin American art for the Museum’s collections, recently enriched by an extraordinary gift of modern and contemporary works from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
“We are delighted to welcome Inés Katzenstein back to MoMA in her dual role as Director of the Cisneros Institute and Curator of Latin American art,” said MoMA Director Glenn Lowry. “Her breadth of experience in both museums and education—and particularly the innovative and provocative programs she has pioneered at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires—combined with her extensive knowledge of art in Latin America are precisely what we need to launch our new Institute and to maintain and expand our robust acquisition and exhibition programs.”
“I am thrilled and honored by the opportunity to return to MoMA at this exciting moment, when the inauguration of the Cisneros Institute and the exceptional gift of works of art from the Colección Cisneros are dramatically amplifying the Museum’s historic position as a center for the study and display of Latin American art. I welcome the chance to create a strong mission for the Institute and to launch new programs aimed at expanding the knowledge and understanding of the arts of Latin America. Also, I am delighted to become part of MoMA’s unparalleled curatorial environment.”
Ms. Katzenstein, a native of Argentina, brings nearly two decades of curatorial and educational experience to MoMA, where she worked early in her career. In 2008 she founded the Art Department of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (UTDT) in Buenos Aires, with programs geared to the study and production of contemporary art. Designed for artists, curators, critics, and filmmakers in training, the programs include workshops, seminars, lectures, and symposia and culminate in major exhibition projects. In addition to leading this department, Katzenstein has curated numerous exhibitions in Argentina and abroad, including Liliana Porter: Fotografía y ficción [Liliana Porter: Photography and Fiction] (Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, 2003); David Lamelas, Extranjero, Foreigner, Ètranger, Aüslander (Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, 2005); and Marcelo Pombo, Un artista del pueblo (Colección Fortabat, Buenos Aires, 2015), and co-curated Televisión, El Di Tella y un episodio en la vida de la TV [Television, the Di Tella, and an episode in the history of TV] (Espacio Telefónica, Buenos Aires, 2010) and Aquella mañana… [That Morning…] (Parque de la memoria, Buenos Aires, 2014). She was curator of the Argentine pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale, presenting the project Guillermo Kuitca, si yo fuera el invierno mismo [Guillermo Kuitca, If I Were Winter Itself], and was co-curator of Zona Franca, Mercosur Biennial, 2007.
Prior to her appointment at UTDT, Katzenstein was a curator at Malba-Colección Costantini in Buenos Aires from 2004 to 2005, where she built a collection of contemporary Argentine art and organized numerous shows in the museum’s Contemporáneo program. Before that she worked at The Museum of Modern Art, beginning in 2000 as assistant to the Museum’s editor-in-chief and then as the editor of Listen, Here, Now! Argentine Art in the 1960s, the first volume on Latin America in the International Program’s ongoing Primary Documents publications series. Ms. Katzenstein has a master’s degree in curatorial studies and art criticism from Bard College, and a degree in communications from the University of Buenos Aires.
Since its founding in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has avidly collected, exhibited, and studied the art of Latin America. Today, MoMA’s collection includes more than 5,000 works of modern and contemporary art by artists from Latin America distributed across the six curatorial departments, representing important figures in early modernism, Expressionism, Surrealism, abstraction, architecture, and Conceptual and contemporary art. In addition, the Museum Library and Archives contains an outstanding collection of books, periodicals, and primary documents to support research in the field.