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Portrait of an Artist: Ellen Cantor

  • Skowhegan NY Program Space 136 West 22nd Street New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

Featuring Joseph Grigely, Gerald Matt, and Nicola Tyson, moderated by Nicola Lees.

The panel takes a genealogical view of the artist in order to give a sense of who and what influenced Cantor, as well as whom she influenced. The discussion will address key exhibitions, bodies of work, and scenes Cantor was involved in both in London and New York. 

Joseph Grigely

Joseph Grigely (b. 1956, East Longmeadow, MA) is a writer and artist. He has had solo shows at the Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2016); Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (2015); the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2009, 1997); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA (2008); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (2001); Foundation Joan Miró, Barcelona (2001); and the Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1996). His work has been included in the Whitney (2014, 2000), Berlin (2001), Sydney (1998), Istanbul (1997) and Venice (1995) Biennials. Grigely’s books include Textualterity: Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism (1995), Conversation Pieces (1998), Exhibition Prosthetics (2010), MacLean 705 (2015), and Oceans of Love: The Uncontainable Gregory Battcock (2016). He is Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and lives and works in the city.


Nicola Tyson

Primarily known as a painter, Nicola Tyson has also worked with photography, film, sculpture, performance and the written word. In 2011 she published, in limited edition, in conjunction with Petzel Gallery, New York and Sadie Coles HQ, London, a collection of satirical letters to famous artists titled “Dead Letters Men”. Her unique archive of color photos documenting the London post punk club scene in 1978—“Bowie Nights at Billy’s Club”—was the subject of shows, both in New York and London, and the images have been used widely. Back in the early 90s, she hosted Trial BALLOON in her Soho studio loft, a project space showcasing the work of women artists. The emphasis was on the emerging lesbian subculture at the time—artists such as Nicole Eisenman, and on work with ‘difficult’ subject matter, such as Lutz Bacher and Ellen Cantor. Born in 1960 in London, England, Tyson attended Chelsea School of Art, and Central/St. Martins School of Art and is currently based in upstate New York. Her work is included in major museum collections internationally. She is represented by Petzel Gallery in New York, Sadie Coles HQ in London and Susanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects.

Gerald Matt

Gerald A. Matt is an Austrian curator and author. As the Director of the Vienna Art Institute, a privately financed cultural and social think tank, he is responsible for a monthly TV talk show with personalities from cultural, social and political fields. He is associate professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the CIAM (Center of International Art Management) in Cologne, where he teaches museum management. He also lectures art theory at Innsbruck University. He also works as a senior consultant at Graf & Partner, a museum advising company. From 1996 to 2012 Gerald Matt was director of Kunsthalle Vienna, an institution for international contemporary and modern art. At the Kunsthalle, he organized solo shows of artists including Bruce Nauman, Samuel Beckett, Louise Bourgeois, Matthew Barney or Ellen Cantor as well as exhibitions on themes such as space or stardom. He served as a long-term member of several committees of museums (in Bolzano, Bologna and Berlin). Matt published several books on art and museum management, among them "Artists talk " (2014), "Gespräche, Austrian Art in the '60s" (2011) and "Economia e gestione di musei d'arte" with Alessia Zorloni (2011). 

Nicola Lees

Nicola Lees is the new Director and Curator at 80WSE Gallery. Prior to joining the gallery this fall, she spent three years as the curator for Frieze Projects; leading the annual not-for-profit programme featuring artist commissions, film, and music at Frieze London. In 2015, Lees was also curator of the 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana. Lees was previously Senior Curator of Public Programmes at the Serpentine Gallery London (2008-2013), where she oversaw interdisciplinary, time-based and performance projects and artist commissions as well as Park Nights, initiating the Serpentine Cinema series, and theSerpentine Gallery Marathon (co-curated with Hans Ulrich Obrist). Lees has also curated exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall in 2015 as well as Left Pop Bringing it Home at the Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2007. At the Irish Museum of Modern Art she worked on key solo exhibitions by Alex Katz, Miroslaw Balka, Georgia O’Keefe, Nalini Malani and a group exhibition curated with Philippe Parreno. Nicola Lees lives and works in New York.