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Colleagues and Friends: Kelly Baum

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Kelly Baum, Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, invites Regine Basha, Residency Director at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, and Ursula Davila-Villa, Partner at Alexander Gray Associates, New York, to discuss their careers in contemporary art. Offering three distinct perspectives on the global art world, this will be a lively conversation among friends.




Kelly Baum is the Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware in 2005. She has been working as a curator for sixteen years, first at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, then at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and later at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she was the founding curator of modern and contemporary art. Kelly has organized dozens of exhibitions, among them Carol Bove: setting for A. Pomodoro (2006); Nobody's Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000-2010 (2010); Doug Aitken: migration (empire) (2013); New Jersey as Non-Site (2013), for which she received a Warhol Curatorial Fellowship; and Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible (2016), co-curated with Andrea Bayer and Nicholas Cullinan. Her writing has been published widely in exhibition catalogues, as well as in anthologies like Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics (2015) and scholarly journals like October and Art Journal. Kelly has participated in numerous panels and symposia and has taught seminars in both contemporary art and curatorial practice. Currently, she is researching an exhibition for fall 2017 titled Delirious: Modernism beyond Reason, 1950-1980.

Regine Basha is currently the Residency Director at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn. Her inventive approach to curating often addresses the specific context or situation for the engagement with new work – whether it be a sound installation resonating throughout an entire town (The Marfa Sessions), 27 artist commissions for an abandoned heritage building (When You Cut Into the Present The Future Leaks Out, Old Bronx Courthouse), or sited sculptures by women artists throughout the Bloomberg Financial Headquarters (Speculative Futures). She has developed solo exhibitions with artists such as Basim Magdy (Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year 2016), Julieta Aranda, Stepehen Vitiello, Nina Katchadourian, and many others. She has been an advisor to the Queens Museum, Creative Capital, and the Columbia University MFA program, and she currently sits on the board of Art Matters and the SETI Artist in Residence. Her music archive project, Tuning Baghdad, was recently hosted by Clocktower Radio. She is a 1996 graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. A visual compendium of exhibitions and writing can be found at

Ursula Davila-Villa is a Partner at Alexander Gray Associates, New York. She joined the Gallery from the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, where she served as the Associate Curator of Latin American Art from 2005–2012. While at the Blanton, she curated and organized exhibitions and programs, including the exhibitions Waltercio Caldas (2012); Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (2012), Recovering Beauty: the 1990s in Buenos Aires (2011), Manuel Alvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries (2010); and The New York Graphics Workshop (2008). Her curatorial work was recognized in 2011 with a Curatorial Excellence Award from the Apple Valley Foundation. Prior to her work at the Blanton Museum, she held positions at the Cai Guo-Qiang studio, Galeria OMR, Mexico City; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Art in General, New York. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from New York University and a BA in Architecture and Urbanism from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico; she completed additional studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico; Université Laval, Quebec; Technische Universiteit Delft, Netherlands; the University of Texas, Austin; and the Getty Leadership Institute.



The Colleagues and Friends Breakfast series invites established women in the art world to have conversations about their current positions, career paths, and professional relationships. The program is generously hosted by artnet at their headquarters in the Woolworth Building.

Earlier Event: November 17
Colleagues and Friends: Nico Wheadon
Later Event: February 2
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