The Kitchen Announces Robyn Farrell as Senior Curator

The Kitchen today announces that it has appointed Robyn Farrell as Senior Curator. Officially beginning on August 1 after a decade at the Art Institute of Chicago, Farrell will be responsible for expanding The Kitchen’s program in a moment of growth and evolution for the institution, operating out of a “home away from home” at Westbeth as its own building in Chelsea is being renovated, and as the organization reimagines itself to best serve the next generation of the avant-garde.

Legacy Russell, The Kitchen’s Executive Director and Chief Curator, said, “It is wonderful to welcome Robyn Farrell to The Kitchen. Robyn shares in a dynamic commitment to the institution’s expanded mission, values, and future-vision. In her commitment to avant-garde histories, time-based media, and interdisciplinary exhibition-making, she brings an exciting and unique perspective to the field and we look forward to welcoming her as across The Kitchen’s community we advance to new heights.”

As Senior Curator, Farrell will collaborate with The Kitchen’s curatorial team to steward the department’s strategic vision and participate in all aspects of the development, planning, and execution of The Kitchen’s programs, exhibitions, performances, publications, and other programming.

Farrell said, “I am thrilled to join The Kitchen at this distinct moment in the institution’s history. The Kitchen’s unparalleled legacy and embrace of artist-driven media, process, and dialogue, aligns with my own commitment to interdisciplinary partnerships that bridge discourse and display, and traverse notions of time and place. I look forward to advancing The Kitchen’s groundbreaking program and vital mission that supports urgent contemporary voices, risk-taking experimentation, and impactful and inclusive exhibitions, live events, and publications.”

Since joining the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) in 2013, Farrell has made distinguished contributions to the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art’s commissions, exhibitions, acquisitions, and public programming. During her tenure, Farrell curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including the 2021 exhibition with Barbara Kruger, THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU.; the Chicago presentation of Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well (2019); Christine Sun Kim: Cues on Point (on view through Fall 2023); and a forthcoming project with Maren Hassinger (both 2023). Her research interests include conceptual art and the moving image, emerging disciplines of time-based art, artist networks, and the history of exhibition and distribution of film and video. Farrell is an internationally recognized scholar on the work of German filmmaker and video art pioneer Gerry Schum, including his landmark art on television broadcasts such as Land Art (1969). Farrell has contributed to numerous publications and artist monographs and has spoken widely on time-based media art at the College Art Association Annual Conference, the University of Chicago, the Graham Foundation, New York University, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), and the Herbert Foundation, among others. Farrell is a visiting lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, moderator for the Screen to Screen series at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and recently co-edited the inaugural volume of the Art Institute’s digital publication series Perspectives on In/stability (with Delinda Collier).

Before serving as Associate Curator, she was a Curatorial Assistant (2013-2016) and Assistant Curator (2017-2020) in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at AIC and served on the curatorial teams for over forty projects including Kara Walker: Rise Up Ye Mighty Race (2013), Frances Stark: Intimism (2015), Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams (2016), Zhang Peili: Record. Repeat (2017), Helena Almeida: Work is Never Finished (2016), Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again (2019), and organized projects with artists including Mariko Mori (2015), Andrea Fraser (2016), Rodney McMillian (2017 and 2022), Gretchen Bender (2018), Martine Syms (2018), Cauleen Smith (2018), Moyra Davey (2020), and Hito Steyerl (2021), among others.