Thomas J. Lax Appointed Associate Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art

Posted on May 12, 2014

The Museum of Modern Art announces the appointment of Thomas J. Lax as Associate Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art.  In this role, Mr. Lax will work on a wide range of exhibitions, acquisitions, and performance and screening events. He joins MoMA after seven years at The Studio Museum in Harlem, where he was Assistant Curator. While at the Studio Museum, Mr. Lax organized over a dozen exhibitions as well as numerous live performances and public programs, focusing especially on performance art, dance and video, and socially engaged practices in all media. Mr. Lax will join the Museum in late August.

“Thomas brings an array of interests that will position him as an exciting collaborator both with artists and with curators across the Museum,” said Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA. “He has been a dynamic part of the Studio Museum’s remarkable programming, and we look forward to bringing his energy and vision to MoMA.”

Most recently, Mr. Lax organized the Studio Museum exhibitions When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South (2014) and the Studio Museum’s presentation of Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2013). In 2008, he developed and launched the Museum’s VideoStudio program, an ongoing series of exhibitions of time-based art; in 2011, he initiated Studio Lab, a think tank and short-term residency program for ideas in formation. At the Studio Museum, he has also organized Ayé A. Aton: Space-Time Continuum (2013); the New York presentation of David Hartt: Stray Light (2013); Fore (2012, with Lauren Haynes and Naima J. Keith); Ralph Lemon: 1856 Cessna Road (2012); Lyle Ashton Harris: Self/Portrait (2011); a collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, New York, OFF/SITE (2010); Mark Bradford: Alphabet (2010); Kalup Linzy: If it Don’t Fit (2009); among others.

“I am thrilled to be transitioning from one world-class institution to another,” Mr. Lax said. “I am looking forward to working with a fantastic team of colleagues, the Museum’s esteemed permanent collection, as well as artists and thinkers living across the globe at this exciting moment in the Museum’s history.”

He has contributed to artist monographs locally and internationally for venues including Artists Space, New York; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; MoMA PS1, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is a contributor to Artforum, Art in America, Art Journal, and Mousse.

He has lectured widely at institutions including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2014); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Columbia University, New York (2013); the Jeu de Paume, Paris, (2013); the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art (2013); New York Live Arts (2012); and Danspace Project, New York (2012 and 2014).

Mr. Lax is a faculty member at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts; on the Advisory Committee of the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics; on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; a member of the Catalyst Circle at The Laundromat Project; and on the Advisory Board of Recess.

He received his AB from Brown University and his MA in Modern Art from Columbia University. A lifelong resident of New York City, Mr. Lax currently resides in Brooklyn.

Thomas J. Lax Appointed Associate Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art


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