The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the election of board chair, Lawrence Rinder, plus three new board members, artists Shana Berger and Deborah Kass, and financier John Taft. The three new board members chosen succeed artist Cindy Sherman, J.K. Brown and Michael Straus, all of who just finished their terms as appointments are effective for four years and, if re-elected, another four years for a maximum of eight years, before each board member must be replaced.
Lawrence Rinder is replacing the previous board chair Michael Straus. The Warhol foundation president Joel Wachs said that Rinder will “be an able and inspiring successor,” to Straus, “whose exemplary leadership over the past six years is largely responsible for the foundation’s pre-eminent position in the field today.” Wachs stated “the addition of Ms. Berger, Ms. Kass, and Mr. Taft gives the board the strength of proven leadership in the foundation’s most important constituencies—artists and the art institutions that support them.”
The primary goal of the Foundation’s grant funding activity has been to ‘support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognised, or challenging in nature.’ The foundation states that it believes in a strong commitment to freedom of artistic expression which led it to play an active advocacy role for artists during the culture wars of the 1990s. The foundation continues to inform its support of organisations that fight censorship, protect artists’ rights, and defend artists access to evolving technologies in the digital age.
Lawrence Rinder, who is already a Warhol board member, is also the director of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Having previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Centre and the Whitney Museum, where Rinder applied his skills as chief curator of the 2002 Biennial.
John Taft is CEO of ‘RBC Wealth Management’, the company is a retail brokerage firm, which taft has served as chair of the Securities Industry and Finacial Markets Association (SIFMA).
Shana Berger is an artist, writer, and curator who lives in York, Alabama, where she serves as co-director of the Coleman Centre for the Arts. The artist is a co-founder of the group ‘Your Art Here’, and recently co-founded ‘Pop Start, an incubator for economic justice.
Deborah Kass is a senior critic in the Yale University M.F.A. painting program. Her work has been widely exhibited and is in the collections of MoMA, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Jewish Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery. Kass’s work was also on display in a mid-career retrospective at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.