EXPO CHICAGO Names Naima J. Keith As 2019 Exposure Curator

Mar 28, 2019 8:27PM

CAAM Curator to Select Solo and Two-Artist Presentations Highlighting Emerging Gallery Programs at 2019 Exposition

Naima Keith, photo by HRDWRKER

The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, today named Naima J. Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at The California African American Museum (CAAM) and Co-Artistic Director of Prospect.5 as the Curator for EXPO CHICAGO’s 2019 EXPOSURE section. The EXPOSURE section, installed on the main floor of the exposition, features solo and two-artist presentations from galleries eight years and younger. As the exposition enters its eighth edition (September 19 – 22, 2019), Keith will curate a presentation focused on highlighting emerging artists and exhibition programs, with council from the Selection Committee and exposition Directors. Applications for the 2019 EXPOSURE section are now available.

“The appointment of an institutionally-affiliated curator to our EXPOSURE section, which provides an international commercial platform for emerging galleries, has been integral to supporting our participating exhibitors,” said EXPO CHICAGO Artistic Director Stephanie Cristello. “We are very proud to be working alongside Naima J. Keith for our next edition—her respected international perspective on artists and galleries, as well as her unique understanding of what it means to exhibit within an American context, highlights the exposition’s commitment to supporting our exhibitors through curatorial initiatives.”

Prior to her current position at CAAM, Keith worked as Associate Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has organized influential exhibitions featuring Nicole Miller, Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle, Genevieve Gaignard, Rodney McMillian, Samuel Levi Jones, Titus Kaphar and more. Keith’s exhibition, entitled Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989 (2014), was nominated by the International Association of Art Critics for the Best Monographic Museum Show in New York in 2014. Upcoming projects include curating Prospect.5, New Orleans’ contemporary art triennial opening fall of 2020.

Keith follows 2017–2018 EXPOSURE Curator Justine Ludwig, who was recently appointed the Executive Director of Creative Time.

“My experience working in art institutions in New York and Los Angeles, and familiarity with New Orleans and other cities throughout the southern United States, has acquainted me with a wide range of emerging galleries, all worthy of spotlight at an international art fair like EXPO CHICAGO,” said Naima J. Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at The California African American Museum (CAAM). “I am looking forward to working with the dynamic team at EXPO CHICAGO, who are committed to bringing international attention to lesser-known spaces, and am grateful for the opportunity to build upon my own curatorial practice which is oriented around highlighting programs that are diverse in origin, size and artist representation.”

About Naima Keith

As Deputy Director and Chief Curator at The California African American Museum (CAAM), Keith organizes exhibitions and builds the collection, as well as guides the curatorial and education departments, and oversees marketing and communications. Prior to joining CAAM in 2016, she was Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Recent exhibitions include Nicole Miller: Athens, California (2018), Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced (2017), Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses (2016), Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street (2016), Artists in Residence 2014–2015 (2015), Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound (2015), Titus Kaphar (2014), Glenn Kaino (2014), Robert Pruitt (2013), The Shadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013) and Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012). Her historical survey, Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989 (2014), traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles spring 2015 and was nominated in 2014 for a "Best Monographic Museum Show in New York" award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA). She has lectured at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Columbia University, The Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, USC, MCA Denver and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami, LAXART, MoMA PS1 and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Keith holds degrees from Spelman College and UCLA and is a proud native of Los Angeles. She is the 2018 ArtTable New Leadership Awardee and the 2017 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of her contributions to the field of African American art history.