MOCA appoints Helen Molesworth as chief curator

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has announced the appointment of Helen Molesworth as its new chief curator, after conducting an exhaustive search for an ambitious, authoritative and talented individual to herald a new chapter in its programming.
Her appointment comes on the back of the museum raising its endowment to $100 million (approximately £70 million), securing the services of Philippe Vergne as its director earlier this year and continual effort to expand its permanent collection of art (6800 and counting).
Well-respected in the world of art, Ms Molesworth currently occupies the exact same role at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, where she has, for the last four years, delivered a ‘rigorous programme’ of highly praised monographic and historical survey exhibitions.
She is lauded for her inimitable approach to curation, which has helped bring new ideas to the canon of contemporary art. Her visionary approach has wowed audiences and critics alike – the vantage points she offers are absorbing.
Recent exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art are testament to this. A case in point is This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, which delivered a powerful reconsideration of the very conservative eighties, exploring it through the lenses of feminism.
“The word curator means to ‘care for’ and Helen Molesworth is the perfect embodiment of caring for art, artists and audiences,” Mr Vergne said.
“Helen has a broad, generous and humble knowledge of art, artists, institutions and collections, plus a passion for MOCA. She curates transversally; meaning that she does not follow beaten, fashionable paths but knows how to open new roads, diverse roads with integrity and rigour.”
He added that she is a “marvellous scholar and writer” whose rapport with artists is admirable and her that her ability to “listen, work and dialogue” is second to none. Mr Vergne concluded by saying that Ms Molesworth is going to have a “deep an impact” on MOMA and the art community in Los Angeles.
She remarked that it was an honour to join the museum, describing it as an establishment that has a “stellar collection, a record of groundbreaking exhibitions” and at its core, a commitment to artists.
“Los Angeles has become one of the leading cities for contemporary art and artists in the country and I am very excited at the prospect at working for and with such an extraordinary community,” Ms Molesworth added.
She will be working closely with MOCA’s long-standing senior curator Alma Ruiz, who has over 30 years of experience at the museum. Like Ms Molesworth, she has been instrumental in developing monographic and thematic shows. It is certain to be a very fruitful relationship, to the benefit of all those who are passionate about contemporary art.
“It is thrilling news to hear of Philippe’s choice of Helen Molesworth for MOCA’s next chief curator,” said the artist Catherine Opie, who is also a MOCA trustee.
“I have worked with Helen on two occasions and my regards for her brilliance as a curator is with utmost respect. She pushes artists to think about their work in new ways and thus will bring to MOCA her experience and thoughtfulness for both artists and viewers.”
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