Darling, Michael (audio)

The Chief Curator explains his role as a “proselytizer of contemporary art,” and discusses the idea of “newness” in relation to an artist’s ability to understand her tradition thoroughly enough to make true breakthroughs.

“I am a firm believer in trying to pick up on unusual quirks and idiosyncrasies of a place and how that also can bear on what you’re doing and lead to something that is very unique and hopefully will set your practice apart from somebody else.”

Michael Darling is the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Prioir to his appointment to the MCA, Darling was the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum, the associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, where he organized Superflat in collaboration with the artist Takashi Murakami. Darling has worked as an independent writer and curator, contributing essays to publications including Frieze, Art Issues, Flash Art, and LA Weekly. He received his BA in art history from Stanford University, and his MA and PhD in art and architectural history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.