Past Visiting Critics

Phong Bui
April 2016
Phong Bui is an artist, writer, independent curator and former curatorial advisor at MoMA PS1, 2007 to 2010. He is also the Co-Founder, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the monthly journal, the Brooklyn Rail, and the publishing press, Rail Editions, as well as the Host/Producer of Off the Rail on Art International Radio. He is a board member of the Third Rail of the Twin Cities, the Miami Rail, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Walentas/Walsh Sharpe Foundation, and the International Association of Art Critics United States Section (AICA USA). He is currently teaching graduate seminars in M.F.A. Writing and Criticism and M.F.A. Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts.

In 2013 he founded the Rail Curatorial Projects, which aims to curate group and one-person exhibits that respond specifically to location, cultural moment, and economic conditions. Recent exhibits include Bloodflames Revisited at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Migration to the Interior at Red Bull Studios (2014), Intimacy in Discourse: Reasonable and Unreasonable Sized Paintings at Mana Contemporary and School of Visual Arts Chelsea Gallery. Forthcoming projects are: An Anthology of The Brooklyn Rail Interviews, Volume I, and Occupy Rail, an endeavor to encourage and support motivated individuals to create their own Rail publication in their local communities.

Charles Long
March 2016
Charles Long earned his M.F.A. at Yale University, attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York and received his B.F.A. at the University for the Arts, Philadelphia. His work was included in the 1997 and 2008 Whitney Biennials, and has been featured in over 50 solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries internationally such as The Contemporary Austin; SITE Santa Fe, N.M.; the St. Louis Museum of Art, Mo.; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Fundaço Cultural do Distrito Federal, Brazil; and others. Charles Long’s work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2008 the American Academy of Arts and Letters recognized Long with the Award of Merit. He has been the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant. Charles Long is a Professor of Art at the University of California, Riverside.

Hesse McGraw
November 2015
Hesse McGraw is a curator and writer and is Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Programs at the San Francisco Art Institute. At SFAI he directs the Walter and McBean Galleries, and oversees SFAI’s public programs, visiting artists series and public education programs for youths and adults. Current and upcoming projects at SFAI include solo exhibitions by Doug Hall, Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Jill Magid, and Mariana Castillo Deball.

Pamela Longobardi
October 2015
Pamela Longobardi is Professor of Art at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She has shown her artwork across the U.S. and in Finland, Slovakia, China, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Monaco, and her artworks are in numerous public and private collections. In 2006, Longobardi created the Drifters Project, a conceptually-based artistic research project focusing on the global ocean marker of contemporary archeology: the drifting plastic object. She exhibited this work in Beijing at NY ARTS/Beijing (2008 Olympics) and at ARTLIFEfortheworld (2009 Venice Biennale ARTE VISIVI collateral exhibitions). The project was published by Edizione Charta (Milan, N.Y.) in a book titled Drifters: Plastics, Pollution and Personhood. Longobardi is the recipient of many awards including the Hudgens Prize and has been named the Oceanic Society’s Artist-in-Residence. She was recently selected for “State of the Art,” a survey of American art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Michael Rooks
March 2015
Michael Rooks is the Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum, Atlanta, Ga. Besides his responsibilities at the High, Rooks was appointed Commissioner and co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2010. Prior to joining the High Museum, Rooks held curator positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Eddie Dominguez
February 2015
Eddie Dominguez is a contemporary ceramist and Associate Professor of Art (Ceramics) at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. His work is in many public and private collections including: The Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco and N.M, among others. He has exhibited extensively across the country.

Courtenay Finn
November 2014
Courtenay Finn is the Curator at the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colorado. From 2011-2014 she was the Curator at Art in General where she commissioned new work by Lisa Oppenheim & Lisa Tan, Letha Wilson, robbinschilds, Katrin Sigurdardottir, and Mounira Al Solh. In 2013 she was the co-curator of North by Northeast, the Latvian Pavilion for the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale. From 2008–2010 she was the Programs Manager at Lower East Side Printshop, New York, where she worked in-depth with artists to create new work in printmaking. Finn received her MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College for the Arts, San Francisco, CA in 2008.

Heidi Schwegler
December 2014
Heidi Schwegler is associate chair of the Applied Craft + Design M.F.A. Program in Portland, Oregon. She exhibits nationally and is a recent recipient of Hallie Ford and MacDowell Colony Fellowships.

Michelle Acuff
March 2014
Acuff currently serves as Chairperson of the Art Department at Whitman College where is is an Associate Professor of Art. Acuff’s work is multi-media in nature, marrying ersatz images and industrially produced commercial objects with organic and hand-made sculptural elements. Her materials range widely from neon to porcelain, steel to styrofoam, articulating a very tenuous connection to the natural world and the precariousness of the environmental and social realties we face.

Nora Abrams
March 2014
As the Associate Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Nora Abrams has experience working on exhibitions at major institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Grey Art Gallery at New York University.

Oliver Herring
March-April  2014
Oliver Herring was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1964, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Since 1998, Oliver Herring has created stop-motion videos and participatory performances with “off the street” strangers. Embracing chance and chance encounters, his videos and performances liberate participants to explore aspects of their personalities through art in a way that would otherwise probably be impossible.  Oliver Herring’s use of photography takes an extreme turn in his most recent series of photo-sculptures: for these works, Herring painstakingly photographs a model from all possible angles, then cuts and pastes the photographs onto the sculptural form of his subject.

Benjamín Lira
October 2011
Benjamin Lira’s paintings are dynamic studies in color and composition. He works both in painting and ceramics. Lira is a  full time artist in Santiago, Chile.

Kim Dickey
November 2010
Kim Dickey’s work straddles the seeming opposition between nature and culture. Working in ceramic and installation  her recent work explores the format of the artificial garden as a means of illustrating the polarity between the materiality of the ceramic material and the artifice of man’s designs.

Casey Reas
December 2010
Casey Reas is an artist whose conceptual and minimal works explore ideas through the contemporary lens of software. Reas’s software and images derive rich experiences from short text instructions explaining processes that define networks.

Allan Wexler
March 2011
Artist, architect and designer Allan Wexler’s work mixes the language of architecture and furniture in his sculptural meditations. His work explores the place of man in a world of mechanisms.

Kenny Scharf
April 2011
As one of today’s most exciting artists, Kenny Scharf rose to prominence in the New York art scene in the ’80s as part of a dynamic and influential group of artists that included Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Kenny’s work is exemplifies the playful Pop aesthetic for which he is internationally renowned.

Rebeca Méndez 
January 2010
Using a variety of media—photography, video, and art installations—Méndez explores the nature of perception and media representation. Her research and practice are transmedial and interdisciplinary through which she explores the dialogue between the weather and the landscape as a way to address issues of time and space in relation to human physicality.

David Hilliard 
February 2010
David Hilliard creates large-scale multi-paneled color photographs, often based on his life or the lives of people around him. His panoramas direct the viewer’s gaze across the image surface allowing narrative, time and space to unfold.

Simen Johan
October 2010
In his photographs, Simen Johan depicts a natural world hovering between reality, fantasy and nightmare. Merging traditional photographic techniques with digital methods, Johan’s images are crafted over time and blur the boundaries between the real and the unreal.

Adam Lerner
November 2010

Adam Lerner, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, discusses the attitude towards art and culture that underlies his unusual approach to creating museum programs and exhibitions. He argues that the most authentic relationship to art derives from the appreciation of the connection between art and culture at large.

Mala Iqbal
February 2009 
Mala Iqbal’s curious landscape paintings suggest a mash-up of Caspar David Friedrich and graffiti taggers. Airbrushed highlights and illegible but vaguely alphabetical marks double as dappled light on picturesque ruins. Mala is a graduate of RISD(MFA ‘98) and has exhibited her work internationally.

Polly Apfelbaum
March 2009
Polly Apfelbaum’s work falls between the ambivalent space of painting, sculpture, and installation. She has received many important awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of Art, New York; and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA.

Sanford Biggers
March 2009
Sanford Biggers creates multi-disciplinary artworks that integrate film/video installation, sculpture, music and performance. Influenced by his experiences living throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, and by Buddhism, hip-hop and urban culture, Biggers’ work is known for its combination of meditative rigor and improvisatory edge.

Roy Dowell
October 2008
Combining collage and painted elements, California artist Roy Dowell incorporates elements of mass media by reconstructing and reconstituting appropriations from advertisements to create abstract compositions. Dowell received his MFA from Cal Arts in 1975, and is exhibited widely throughout the United States.

Dean Sobel 
November 2008
Dean Sobel is Director of the soon to be built Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, CO.

Brian Tolle
December 2008
History, architecture, site and technology are recurring themes in renowned sculptor and public artist Brian Tolle’s works. Using a variety of media, his work draws from the scale and experience of its surroundings, provoking a re-reading by cross-wiring reality and fiction. Tolle’s investigations often times lead him to work outside the gallery in the form of public projects. Tolle’s work has been exhibited in the Whitney and Liverpool Biennials; the Queens Museum of Art; the SMAK museum in Ghent, Belgium; and numerous other institutions.