Director of MoMA PS1 and MoMA chief curator at large
The modus operandi of MoMA PS1’s director has been to balance cult, influential figures with hip relative newbies, and 2017 sees no change in the formulae. So exhibitions for Carolee Schneemann, Cathy Wilkes and Naeem Mohaiemen sit alongside shows by Tomáš Rafa and Ian Cheng. In August, Sculpture Center curator Ruba Katrib was poached to help deliver the programme. Biesenbach (also chief curator at large at MoMA) is almost as well known for his celebrity-filled fundraising work, and again delivered this year, organising a benefit to aid the Hurricane Maria recovery in Puerto Rico (the event’s committee include Ricky Martin, Lady Gaga, Patti Smith and James Franco). The tragedy must have felt raw to the museum director: he has a farm on the island, and in January, to coincide with artist Papo Colo’s 2016 PS1 show travelling to the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Biesenbach not only curated a performative parade by the artist, but led it, holding a goat on a lead.