Brett Littman Tapped To Be Director Of Noguchi Museum
By Julee WJ Chung
On February 5, the Noguchi Museum in New York announced Brett Littman as its new director, beginning his term on May 1, 2018. He succeeds Jenny Dixon, who stepped down from the position in December after 14 years of leadership.
Founded in 1985 by the internationally acclaimed Japanese-American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, the Noguchi Museum is a private space in the industrial zone of Long Island City, Queens, housing the largest collection of the artist’s works from his six-decade-long career. In 2004, the Isamu Noguchi Foundation was consolidated with the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, becoming a public charity, opening the 2,500-square-meter space to the public. The museum grounds include both indoor and outdoor galleries, as well as a stone sculpture garden, which presents a permanent exhibition reflecting the spirit and life of the artist. Additionally, the museum mounts six to seven on- and off-site exhibitions per year, highlighting the artworks of Noguchi and contemporary artists who explore the elements of form and space through mediums such as sound, ink and stone.
Looking ahead into his new role, Littman said, “The Museum’s commitment to the fullness and multi-disciplinary aspects of Noguchi’s vision, to his pacifism and his championing of workers rights and racial equality, to the City of New York, and to the international cultural creative community of which Isamu Noguchi was such an integral part is absolutely inspiring. There is truly no other place in New York like this museum and garden that offers such a profound meditation on the impact of art on society.”
Littman is currently the executive director of The Drawing Center in SoHo, New York, overseeing the institution’s administration and exhibition and outreach programs. Over the years, he curated several notable shows including Yüksel Arslan’s “Visual Interpretations” in 2008, and Leon Golub’s “Live & Die Like a Lion?” in 2010, which won an award from the International Association of Art Critics and was judged as the best show in a non-profit gallery or alternative space. He also helped steer The Drawing Center’s USD 11 million renovation and expansion, opening its spacious new grounds to the public in 2012. Prior to this, Littman served as deputy director of MoMA PS1 from 2003 to 2007, and was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government in 2017.
Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.
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