Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Chooses Its New Director

By Jori Finkel

LOS ANGELES — For a change, a high-profile contemporary arts venue here has not gone to New York for its next leader. Instead, the board of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles announced Wednesday that its next director will be Anne Ellegood, senior curator of the Hammer Museum across town, starting Sept. 16. She is replacing the art institute’s founding director, Elsa Longhauser, who late last year announced her plans to retire.

In her time directing that museum and its predecessor, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, a total of 19 years, Ms. Longhauser developed a reputation for showing artists before they gained a serious following, including Al Taylor, Mickalene Thomas and the self-taught artists she championed. The museum’s big September show will be “No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake,” organized by Jamillah James, another Hammer alum.

Ms. Ellegood joined the Hammer in 2009 after five years as a curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. Since then she has produced 23 Hammer Projects, co-curated the most recent edition of its biennial, Made in L.A., and organized the North American retrospective of the artist Jimmie Durham, which was critically acclaimed despite controversy over his claims of Cherokee ancestry.

“I have a genuine affinity with I.C.A. L.A.’s mission, which emphasizes the pleasure of art while embracing a belief in the capacity for art and artists to make vital contributions to the struggle for social equity and systemic change,” Ms. Ellegood said.

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