Venice Biennale: Queens Museum Curator Jane Farver Has Died

Jane Farver curator and museum administrator has died in Venice, where she was working with Joan Jonas on her presentation for the American Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. A press representative at the Queens Museum, where she was director of exhibitions during the 1990s, has confirmed the news. The cause of her death has yet to be announced, but it has been suggested that the curator died from a heart attack.

One of Farver’s best-known projects was the 1999 Queens Museum show “Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s-1980s,” which toured to the Walker Art Centre, the Miami Art Museum and the List at MIT. Artforum stated that the exhibition was one of the most important of the decade in recognition of its revisionist take on the history of Conceptual art. The show included work by well over 100 artists and collectives.

Farver also headed the MIT List Visual Arts Centre from 1999 to 2011. While there, she organised solo shows and projects by artists including Mel Chin, Michael Joo, Paul Pfeiffer, Runa Islam, and Tavares Strachan. During the curator’s tenure, the List organised presentations for two international art biennials: the 9th Cairo Biennial, where Farver was co-commissioner for the American representative, Paul Pfeiffer; and the 49th Venice Biennale, with Fred Wilson at the U.S. Pavilion. She also oversaw a percent-for-art program, and initiated artist and curatorial residencies.

Farver was consulting director since 2012 for Prospect New Orleans, and had organised the Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale in South Korea in 2011. She held the post of chief curator at the Queens Museum from 1992 until 1999, and helped to put the institution on the map with “Global Conceptualism.” While there, she also organised the exhibitions “Across the Pacific: Contemporary Korean and Korean American Art,” “Cai Guo-Qiang, Cultural Melting Bath: Projects for the 20th Century,” and “Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora.”

Farver’s previous posts include the directorship at Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, New York; director at Tomoko Liguori Gallery, New York; assistant director and curator at the Alternative Museum, New York; and director of Spaces, in Cleveland.


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