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Karnes promoted to Chief Curator at Modern Art Museum

🕐 3 min read

Andrea Karnes has been promoted to Chief Curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Director Marla Price announced the promotion on Nov. 17.

Karnes has been part of the Museum team since beginning her career in the early 1990s. She has built a record of critically acclaimed exhibitions and acquisitions. As head of the curatorial department, she will direct the Modern’s exhibition program, organize special exhibitions, coordinate with guest curators, direct acquisitions, and oversee the installation of the Museum’s renowned permanent collection.

“Andrea is dedicated to this museum and to our curatorial goal to increase the diversity and broaden the narrative of exhibitions and acquisitions. She will continue to introduce new artists to our community,” said Price.

Karnes’s current project is an exploration of women painters who choose women as their primary subject matter. Women Painting Women will be on view May 15 through September 25, 2022. International in scope, the show is a five-decade look at some of the most intriguing painted images of women in the world today.

In 2018, Karnes organized a 40-year survey of the works of the artist Laurie Simmons, Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera, which travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The exhibition examined Simmons’s career-long observations of prescribed gender roles, especially exploring American women in domestic settings. In 2016, Karnes curated KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, which broke the Modern’s attendance records to date before travelling to the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990, on view in 2013–14, was an international, multigenerational group presentation exploring contemporary Mexican art in relationship to global conceptualism.

The exhibition Hubbard/Birchler: No Room to Answer, on view in 2009, featured the collaborative photographic and video works of the Swiss/American team Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, whose work was more recently presented in the Swiss Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale. In 2007, Karnes organized Pretty Baby, a group exhibition that included the works of thirteen artists who addressed the subject of childhood, from innocent reverie to the dark side. In 2005, she organized Pierre Huyghe: One Million + Kingdoms, and in 2004, Julie Bozzi: Landscapes.

As curator of the Modern’s FOCUS series from 2005 to 2015, Karnes organized thirty solo exhibitions of international artists working in a range of media. The FOCUS exhibitions featured the work of Jeff Elrod, Teresita Fernández, KAWS, Vera Lutter, Barry McGee, Cornelia Parker, Erik Parker, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Gary Simmons, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Kehinde Wiley, among many others.

Karnes has been instrumental in the Modern’s program of acquisitions for the permanent collection. Based on her recommendation, the Museum has acquired works by Thornton Dial, Teresita Fernández, Jack Goldstein, Jammie Holmes, KAWS, Ragnar Kjartansson, Vera Lutter, Teresa Margolles, Eddie Martinez, Takashi Murakami, Wangechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Yoshua Okón, Laurie Simmons, Melanie Smith, Banks Violette, Kehinde Wiley, and Xu Zhen.

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