Nato Thompson

30 Nov 2016


Nato Thompson. Photo by Derek Schultz.

"Working in the public sphere can allow projects to escape the bracket of art and often they can simply exist as unexplained phenomena in the world. The more unexplained an art project can be the more it can hum in that special zone relegated to art. It is all rather paradoxical but tangibly real."

Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time, which has commissioned and presented ambitious public art projects with thousands of artists throughout New York City, across the country, around the world. Since 2007, he has organized notable projects such as Living As Form (2011), Paul Ramirez Jonas's Key to the City (2010), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), Paul Chan's acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), and Mike Nelson's A Psychic Vacuum. Prior to Creative Time, Thompson worked as curator at MASS MoCA, completing numerous large-scale exhibitions such as The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004), with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings on art, politics and alternative cultural production have appeared in BookForum, Frieze, Art Journal, Artforum, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and other publications, and he received the College Art Association Art Journal Award for Distinguished Writing in 2005. His book Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production was published by Melville House in 2012. Thompson served as a Center panelist in 2008 and an evaluator in 2010. In 2012, he contributed to the Center's Pigeons on the Grass, Alas series, in which contemporary visual arts curators discussed their changing field.