MoMA Curator Laura Hoptman on How to Tell a Good Painting From a “Bogus” Painting

When the influential Museum of Modern Art curator Laura Hoptman claims that she’s “a painting person,” it’s no joke. A veteran organizer of cutting-edge exhibitions, she built her career in part through her insistence on championing the medium, even—or perhaps especially—through its perennial periods of unpopularity and critical disdain. This has earned her both accolades and scorn, but her track record of introducing vital contemporary painters to American audiences largely speaks for itself.

From her start at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in the late 1980s to her assistant curator position at MoMA—where from 1995 to 2001 she oversaw the first American solo museum exhibitions for pathbreaking artists like Luc Tuymans and John Currin—Hoptman has remained steadfast in her belief that good paintings will always be relevant.


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