IMAGE: LEFT: Robert Storr. Photograph by Pascal Ferro. RIGHT: Heather Pesanti. Photograph by Whitney Arostegui.

Curators in Conversation: Heather Pesanti and Robert Storr

Ticket included with museum admission.

Join Chief Curator Heather Pesanti and her colleague and former professor, the artist, critic, and curator Robert Storr, as they continue their ongoing conversation about interdisciplinarity and what the fields of art and anthropology stand to learn from one another, among the themes of The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn. Storr also contributed to the exhibition's catalogue.

Heather Pesanti joined The Contemporary Austin in 2013, and was named Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs in 2018. At The Contemporary, she has organized monographic exhibitions and outdoor commissions of work by John Bock, Carol Bove, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Anya Gallaccio, Lionel Maunz, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, Monika Sosnowska, Robert Therrien, and Marianne Vitale, as well as the thematic exhibitions Strange Pilgrims and The Sorcerer’s Burden: Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn. Forthcoming projects include solo exhibitions of Nicole Eisenman, Deborah Roberts, and Torbjørn Rødland. From 2008 to 2013, Pesanti was Curator of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and, prior to that, the assistant curator of Life on Mars, the 2008 Carnegie International, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pesanti received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, MSc in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford, England, and MA in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She is working on forthcoming catalogues at the museum for Nicole Eisenman and Deborah Roberts.

Robert Storr is a noted artist, critic, curator, and educator. He received a BA from Swarthmore College in 1972 and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1978. As a curator in the department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art from 1990 to 2002, he organized many thematic exhibitions as well as monographic shows on artists including Elizabeth Murray, Gerhardt Richter, Tony Smith, and Robert Ryman. After his tenure at MoMA he turned to full-time teaching, becoming the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He was Dean of the Yale School of Art from 2006 to 2016, when he returned to the classroom to teach painting, his first avocation. Storr has also held teaching positions at the CUNY Graduate Center, Harvard University, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, and other schools. Throughout his career, he has lectured and written widely. He has been a contributing editor at Art in America since 1981 and has written frequently for Artforum, Frieze, and other publications. Storr’s many honors acknowledge his wide-ranging skills set. To select a small few, he received a Penny McCall Foundation grant for painting, as well as honorary doctorates from The Maine College of Art and his alma maters, Swarthmore College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Curatorial honors include a Norton Family Foundation Curator Grant, the Independent Curators International Agnes Gund Curatorial Award, and the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History from the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. In 2000, the French Ministry of Culture named him a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, subsequently naming him Officer of the same order in 2016. From 2005 to 2007, he was the Visual Arts Director of the Venice Biennale, making him the first, and still only, American to hold that position. His artwork is held in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City and the Yale University Art Gallery.