Nicholas Serota to receive the 2017 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence

December 19, 2016

Event to be co-chaired by Martin Eisenberg and Annabelle Selldorf

Award Given With Audrey Irmas Prize of $25,000

Presented at CCS Bard Gala Celebration On Monday, April 3, 2017 at 6:30pm in New York City

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY, December, 2016The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) is pleased to announce that Nicholas Serota, is the recipient of the 2017 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. The award will be presented at a gala celebration and dinner on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 6:30pm in New York City.

Tom Eccles, Executive Director of CCS Bard states: “Nick Serota is a towering figure in the world of art and museums. As both a curator and director, he has been a powerful advocate for contemporary art and artists, particularly in Britain where he has tirelessly built one of the great art institutions of our time. We are delighted to present this lifetime achievement award at a moment that Nick leaves Tate to become Chair of Arts Council England.”

Nicholas Serota has been Director of Tate since 1988. During this period, Tate has opened Tate St Ives (1993) and Tate Modern (2000 and extension 2016), redefining the Millbank building as Tate Britain (2000). Tate has also broadened its field of interest to include twentieth-century photography, film, performance, and occasionally architecture, as well as collecting from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Since 2010, the national role of the Gallery has been further developed with the creation of the Plus Tate network of 35 institutions across the UK and Northern Ireland.

Between 1976 and 1988, Serota was Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery where he curated numerous exhibitions including Robert Ryman (1977), Carl Andre (1978), Gerhard Richter (1979), Eva Hesse (1979), Max Beckmann: The Triptychs (1980), Anselm Kiefer (1980), Philip Guston (1982), Georg Baselitz (1980 and 1983), Bruce Nauman (1987). In recent years he has curated or co-curated exhibitions of Donald Judd (2004), Howard Hodgkin (2006) Cy Twombly (2008), Gerhard Richter (2011) and Matisse: The Cut-Outs (2014).

Nicholas Serota has been a member of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee of the British Council, a Trustee of the Architecture Foundation and a commissioner on the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. He was a member of the Olympic Delivery Authority which was responsible for building the Olympic Park in East London for 2012. He is a member of the Board of the BBC and has recently become Chair of Arts Council England.

About CCS Bard’s Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence
For the past nineteen years, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College has celebrated and awarded the individual achievements of a leading curator or curators whose lasting contributions have shaped the way we conceive of exhibition-making today. The 2017 award will once again be given under the name of patron Audrey Irmas, who has bestowed the endowment for the Award. Irmas is a board member of CCS Bard and an active member of the Los Angeles arts and philanthropic community.

The awardee is selected by an independent panel of leading contemporary art curators, museum directors, and artists. Past recipients include Harald Szeemann (1998), Marcia Tucker (1999), Kasper König (2000), Paul Schimmel (2001), Susanne Ghez (2002), Kynaston McShine (2003), Walter Hopps (2004), Kathy Halbreich and Mari Carmen Ramírez (2005), Lynne Cooke and Vasif Kortun (2006), Alanna Heiss (2007), Catherine David (2008), Okwui Enwezor (2009), Lucy Lippard (2010), Helen Molesworth and Hans Ulrich Obrist (2011), Ann Goldstein (2012), Elisabeth Sussman (2013), Charles Esche (2014), Christine Tohme and Martha Wilson (2015), and Thelma Golden (2016). The award reflects CCS Bard’s commitment to recognizing individuals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service to the field of exhibition practice. 

The award has been designed by artist Lawrence Weiner, and is based on his 2006 commission Bard Enter, conceived for the entrance to the Hessel Museum of Art at CCS Bard. The award also comes with the Audrey Irmas Prize of $25,000.

About the Center for Curatorial Studies
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) was founded in 1990 as an exhibition and research center for the study of late twentieth-century and contemporary art and culture and to explore experimental approaches to the presentation of these topics and their impact on our world. Since 1994, the Center for Curatorial Studies and its graduate program have provided one of the world’s most forward thinking teaching and learning environments for the research and practice of contemporary art and curatorship. Broadly interdisciplinary, CCS Bard encourages students, faculty and researchers to question the critical and political dimension of art, its mediation and its social significance. CCS Bard cultivates innovative thinking, radical research and new ways to challenge our understanding of the social and civic values of the visual arts. CCS Bard provides an intensive educational program alongside its public events, exhibitions, and publications, which collectively explore the critical potential of the institutions and practices of exhibition-making. It is uniquely positioned within the larger Center’s tripartite resources, which include the internationally renowned CCS Bard Library and Archives and the Hessel Museum of Art, with its rich permanent collection.

General information on the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College can be found on the website:

For more information on the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence Award Gala Dinner or to purchase tickets, please contact:

Ramona Rosenberg, CCS Bard
Tel: +1 (845) 758-7574

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Mark Primoff, Director of Communications
Tel: +1 845.758.7412