GAGOSIAN NAMES CRITIC ANTWAUN SARGENT DIRECTOR, CURATOR

January 21, 2021 at 1:58pm

Antwaun Sargent. Photo: Darius Garvin/Gagosian.

Blue-chip megagallery Gagosian has announced critic Antwaun Sargent as its newest director, the New York Times reports. Sargent, who will be based in New York, joins some thirty directors across the gallery’s seventeen outposts, which additionally occupy space in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Geneva, Athens, Rome, and Hong Kong. His first show for Gagosian, to take place later this year, will to center on themes of what he has called “notions of Black space.”

Sargent, 32, has spent the past decade writing for the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Artnews, among other publications and platforms, focusing heavily on Black artists. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 2019 volume The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, and the editor of Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists. Released last year, the book looks at up-and-coming Black artists through the lens of the Bernard Lumpkin–Carmine Boccuzzi collection, and was produced to accompany a traveling exhibition of the same name, which Sargent cocurated with Matt Wycoff.

Speaking with the Times, Sargent described Gagosian as a “wonderful platform,” noting, “It’s a place where you come and view art, but it’s also a place where discussion happens.”

In his new role, Sargent will create exhibitions, contribute to the gallery’s Gagosian Quarterly publication, and organize panels and symposiums. He has said that he plans to elevate the work of artists of color within the gallery, especially those who address issues around identity, desire, and representation, and those who are reexamining media such as painting and photography.

“I have always been interested in the ways in which we can reframe the conversation around some of the voices that have been left out,” he said. “I’m also interested in notions of community and how artists work within communities and how works are informed by their links to community.”

Sargent’s first show for Gagosian will be part of the gallery’s Black History Month initiative; he has said that the exhibition will explore the concept of Black space on “an institutional level, a community level, and a psychological level.”

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