This year Filipovic made most institutional curators look like idlers. Three years into her directorship at Kunsthalle Basel, she’s lately been balancing the emphatic championing of women artists – solo shows in the last year for Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Sadie Benning, Maria Loboda – with rewardingly elliptical group shows like this past summer’s Ungestalt. That’d be plenty, but in the past year the Princeton-trained art historian has also published two (admittedly long-gestating) books: a substantial and brilliant study of the ‘apparently marginal activities’ of Marcel Duchamp that additionally serves as a sly exegesis on curating-as-art and an exhortation to artistic boldness, and a tightly researched Afterall ‘One Work’ volume on David Hammons’s iconic 1983 Bliz-aard Ball Sale. Even her predecessor in Basel might be looking on enviously, and he just directed Documenta. Filipovic is ambitious enough to do that too; but also smart enough to rewrite the script.
Most influential people in 2017 in the contemporary artworld
Curator - Dynamic director of Kunsthalle Basel
62 in 2017