Envisioning the Future of an Artist Estate or Foundation: Evolving Legacy Plans

Monday, February 27, 2023  

How do artist estates and foundations think about legacies? How can an artist’s work and ideas remain necessary and relevant after their passing? In this discussion Jessamyn Fiore, co-director, Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark and Lisa Le Feuvre, executive director, Holt/Smithson Foundation think together about different approaches to engaging with creative and sustainable artistic legacies. Moderated by Chelsea Spengemann, co-founder, Soft Network and AFELL.

The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark is a small, private, family-run artist estate that was started by Jane Crawford, the artist’s widow, after Matta-Clark’s untimely death in 1978 at the age of 35. In 2012, Crawford’s daughter, Jessamyn Fiore, officially joined as co-director of the Estate. In 2002, Crawford moved the archive of Gordon Matta-Clark to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, officially gifting it to the institution in 2011. Since 1998, the Estate has been represented by the David Zwirner Gallery.  

Holt/Smithson Foundation develops the distinctive creative legacies of Nancy Holt (1938-2014) and Robert Smithson (1938-1973). Collaborating with artists, writers, thinkers, and institutions the Foundation realizes exhibitions, publishes books, initiates artist commissions, programs educational events, encourages research, and develops collections globally from its headquarters in New Mexico. Holt/Smithson Foundation was willed into being by Nancy Holt in 2014, became active in 2018, and will terminate in 2038, a century after both artists were born.  

Gordon Matta-Clark‘s work is currently on view in Gordon Matta-Clark and Pope L.: Impossible Failures at 52 Walker in Tribeca, through April 1, 2023. Nancy Holt‘s work is currently on view in Ecstatic Land at Ballroom Marfa through May 7, 2023 and Robert Smithson‘s work is currently on view in Rome is Still Falling at MACRO—Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome through May 21, 2023.


Sunday, December 4, 2022

Off Paradise hosted a performance by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Raven Chacon, as part of the Paint the Protest exhibition curated by Nancy Spector.

Chacon performed an encore of a sonic meditation on the histories of Alcatraz—recently staged in situ—and its occupation for nineteen months beginning in November 1969 by the group Indians of All Tribes, as a protest regarding civil rights abuses at that time. The sound piece drew in part on archival audio footage of Radio Free Alcatraz, which broadcast news of the occupation from the island every weeknight for most of the first year of the protest.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Off Paradise hosted a conversation on art, activism, and democracy with Marilyn Minter, Hank Willis Thomas, and Tanya Selvaratnam, as part of the Paint the Protest exhibition curated by Nancy Spector.

Marilyn Minter is an artist based in New York. Her work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, including, most recently, All Wet, at MOCO Montpellier, France in 2021. From 2015 through 2017, her retrospective, Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty, traveled to the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (TX); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (CO); the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (CA); and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn (NY). Minter is represented by LGDR, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong/Seoul, and Baldwin Gallery, Aspen.  

Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, community, media, and popular culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including the International Center of Photography, New York; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Musée du quai Branly, Paris; Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands. Thomas received honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute of Art and the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts in 2017. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Pace Gallery, Los Angeles; Ben Brown Fine Arts, London; Goodman Gallery, South Africa; and Maruani Mercier, Belgium.

Tanya Selvaratnam Is a writer and an Emmy-nominated and multiple Webby-winning producer. She is the Senior Director, Gender Justice Narratives for the Pop Culture Collaborative. She is the author of THE BIG LIE and Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, Vogue, Glamour, ELLE, Cosmo, CNN, NBC News, and McSweeney’s. She has produced for the Ms. Foundation for Women; the Vision & Justice Project; Joy To The Polls; Aubin Pictures; Story Syndicate; Glamour Women of the Year; The Meteor; For Freedoms; NGO Forum/Fourth World Conference on Women in China; and Planned Parenthood.

Peter Nadin and Randy Kennedy in conversation

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Off Paradise hosted an in-person conversation between Peter Nadin and Randy Kennedy, as part of The Distance from a Lemon to Murder.

Peter Nadin, a key figure of the downtown art world in the late 1970s and 1980s, is a painter, sculptor and poet whose work explores the practice of mark- and image-making as fundamental, evolutionary human functions.

Randy Kennedy is the editor in chief of Ursula magazine, published by the gallery Hauser & Wirth, and the author of the 2018 novel Presidio, published by Simon & Schuster. For 25 years, he was a reporter for The New York Times, many of those years writing about the art world.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

This is a special episode that was created in collaboration with Independent New York for 2022 edition of the fair.

“Peter Nadin is an artist, poet, farmer and avid observer of human and animal nature. He talks about his beginnings in England, his moving to New York City as a young man and his experiences and observations on consciousness and perception through the years. Peter was a key figure of the New York downtown art world of the late 1970s and 1980s. After realizing that he needed more time to get to the bottom of things, he decided to leave New York City to live and work on his own farm. For quite some years he didn’t exhibit his work at all or only in special places. The direct experience of life resonated in a more profound way with him than the cultural interpretation of it. To him there is no hierarchy between art making, farming or sanding the floor. He acknowledges the different perception systems of humans and animals and realized that the beauty of this is, that no one perception is more real than another…. Peter’s primary focus in his own art is and was the representation of consciousness and direct life experience through painterly marks. To him the time and dedication that are spent to create a painting leave traces in the surface, in the paint itself, which enables us to understand—in a quite deep way—someone else’s experience.”

Recorded on March 15, 2022, 39 min., English language. Portrait by Alon Koppel.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Off Paradise hosted an in-person conversation with artists Scott Covert and Peter McGough, moderated by Randy Kennedy, as part of NOTHNG OF THE MONTH CLUB, an exhibition under the sign of Ray Johnson.

Scott Covert is an artist based in New York but found more often on the road. A collaborator with Off-Broadway theater companies in the late ’70s, he was a founding member of Playhouse 57 at the storied Club 57 in the East Village, alongside friends Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman and Andy Rees. In the mid-1980s, at the urging of friend Cookie Mueller, he began a series of paintings and drawings that continues to this day, based on memento mori rubbings of gravestones, works that function as deeply-layered, text-based history paintings.

Peter McGough is an artist whose memoir, I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going, about his life the art world in the 1980s, was published by Pantheon/Knopf in 2019. McGough been included in three Whitney Biennials and has works in museums collections throughout the world. In recent years, his Oscar Wilde Temple was shown in New York City and London. The temple raises money to benefit LGBT homeless youth.

Randy Kennedy is a writer, editor and curator. His first novel, Presidio, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2018. For 25 years he was a staff writer at The New York Times, more than half of that time covering the art world. He is currently director of special projects at Hauser & Wirth and the editor of Ursula, the gallery’s magazine. 

Watch the full conversation here