Isolde Brielmaier

A woman walking in an art gallery

The Ludlow House member and curator-at-large for the International Center of Photography shares some of her top considerations for curating an art show

Curator and cultural strategist Isolde Brielmaier currently serves as the inaugural curator-at-large at the International Center of Photography (ICP), as well as the curator of several large-scale public artist commission projects with organisations including The Peninsula Hotels group, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), and Amazon Web Services (AWS)|Smithsonian. She is professor of critical studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and advises on a range of global cultural projects that bridge both the public and private sectors in the interest of art, artists, community, and social impact. 
Brielmaier has written extensively on contemporary art and culture and has developed cultural platforms for a broad range of organisations, including Richard Meier Architects, Valentino, Life Water, Coach, Versace, Gucci, ARCO Madrid, Prospect New Orleans, New Wave Art Wknd, and The Armory Show. Previously, she has held senior posts at the Guggenheim Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, and as chief curator for the SCAD Museum of Art. Brielmaier currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the New Museum, the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) and the sustainable luxury brand, Another Tomorrow. She is also editor-at-large at Air Mail, Graydon Carter’s new media venture, and speaks regularly on topics related to art, culture, and social impact.  
Brielmaier holds a PhD from Columbia University and lives in New York City. She is also the author of the newly released book, Culture As Catalyst.

Here, she shares some of her top considerations when curating an art show.

1. ‘As a curator, it’s very important to me to always stay “artist centered”. When I’m working on an exhibition in a museum or a large-scale public art commission, I ask myself: what is the artist’s vision? How can we work together to create a platform that honours their art, as well as one that creates different points of “entry” or engagement for varied audiences?’

2. ‘While I have worked with many well-known established artists, I also enjoy working with young up-and-coming artists as they begin their journey and thinking through their work, ideas and how best to begin building a long-term career.

3. ‘I think it is important to have fun with the installation and think creatively about the ways in which we place the art work/s in different areas, etc.’

4. ‘I find it really rewarding to meaningfully develop contemporary art projects and programmes where I am forging strong partnerships between artists and art institutions, and other sectors. It’s a great way to support art and culture, and to broaden the reach of art for audiences that may not typically have the opportunity to see it.’

5. ‘Looking towards the future, I’m interested in the growing number of artists working at the intersection of art and technology. I think that there is great possibility for huge impact here.’