Larry Ossei-Mensah will assume the role of senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on September 1. His new position is identical to the role of chief curator at large, which was held by Jens Hoffman until December 2017, a MOCAD spokesperson confirmed. In a statement to ARTnews, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, MOCAD’s executive director, said, “The museum made the decision to drop ‘at-large’ from the senior curator title, as it’s an antiquated term that implies less involvement than is actually the case.” MOCAD’s curatorial team also includes a curator of education and public engagement, a curator of new media and technology, and two curatorial fellows.
In his new role, Ossei-Mensah will commute between New York and Detroit. He is a cofounder of Artnoir, a global collective of curators, writers, artists, and other arts professionals, and he has curated shows at various spaces, including Marra Contemporanea in Rome, Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York, and MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. In 2017, he was the critic-in-residence at Art Omi in Ghent, New York.
“I’ve always been committed to working in a manner that is culturally responsive to our times and utilizes contemporary art as a tool to heighten our awareness and understanding not only about the world around us, but also ourselves,” Ossei-Mensah said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with my colleagues at MOCAD to cultivate projects and experiences that not only amplify the magic of Detroit, but also serve as a bridge between the city and the world.”
In a statement, Borowy-Reeder called Ossei-Mensah a “rising star,” adding, “As we expand our commitment to larger exhibitions and innovative programming, Larry brings a unique expertise in this area and his keen eye for curating with culturally inclusive nuance will further strengthen our program.”