After its last curator, Henriette Huldisch, departed to take a top position at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, a closely watched art space in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has picked a significant figure in New York to fill the role.
Bell has been with the New Museum since 2013, in that time overseeing a range of exhibitions that made her a top curatorial talent in New York. Among the shows she worked on were solo outings for Elaine Cameron-Weir, Hiwa K, Lubaina Himid, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, and Jonathas de Andrade, as well as the 2017 survey “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” which ARTnews recently named one of the most important shows of the 2010s.
In addition to her work for the New Museum, Bell has served as an assistant curator on the 2013 edition of the Venice Biennale in Italy (which was overseen by New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni) and published her writings in various magazines, including Art in America (which is owned by the same parent company as ARTnews).
In a statement, Bell said, “I’ve long admired the List Center as a laboratory for art and ideas, and MIT’s concentration of wildly intelligent, creative, and innovative people is a dream community to think and work alongside. I’m deeply excited to build on the List’s extraordinary history and to continue to advance its mission through a commitment to experimentation and risk-taking in the arts.”
Bell’s hire marks yet another major hire for the MIT List Visual Arts Center, which has in recent years been able to bring in preeminent international curators to a relatively small institution. Before starting there in 2014, Huldisch had been at the Hamburger Bahnhof, one of the foremost museums in Berlin.
Correction 1/6/20, 2:20 p.m.: A previous version of this article misstated details about Bell’s involvement in the Venice Biennale. She was assistant curator on the 2013 edition of the biennial, not the 2015 one.