Front International Triennial Appoints Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski as Artistic Directors for 2021

Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski.


The Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art has named Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski as the artistic directors of its second edition, set to open in Ohio in July  2021.

Krishnamurthy is a founding principal of the design firm Projects Projects and a co-director of the New York–based design studio Wkshops. From 2012 to 2017, he ran P!, a beloved kunsthalle-style art space based on New York’s Lower East Side.

Kukielski is the executive director and chief curator of Art21, a New York–based organization that presents documentaries featuring contemporary artists discussing their work. From 2002 to 2010, she worked in various positions at the Whitney Museum in New York, and she organized the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh in 2013.

The theme for the 2021 Front triennial has not yet been announced. The first edition of the triennial, “An American City,” was overseen by Michelle Grabner and opened last July. Grabner told ARTnews at the time that the triennial was partly an attempt to put the spotlight on institutions in America’s Rust Belt, adding, “I really believe in the Midwest, especially now, as these regions and cities are becoming more hospitable to artists.” Among the 100-plus artists included in the triennial’s first edition were Martine Syms, Josh Kline, Dawoud Bey, Barbara Bloom, John Riepenhoff, and Michael Rakowitz.

In a statement, Fred Bidwell, the CEO of the Front International, said of the new artistic directors, “I have immense admiration for their experience and talent and I know that they will bring tremendous energy to this project. Even though we had incredible success this past summer, under the artistic direction of Michelle Grabner, it is not our intention to duplicate the experience.”


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