Art historian Natalie Musteata specializes in modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on performance, film, and exhibition history.
Ph.D. 2019 The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York
Dissertation: The ‘I’ of the Artist-Curator
Claire Bishop (Chair), David Joselit,
Romy Golan, Johanna Burton
M.Phil. 2013 The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York
History of Postwar and Contemporary Art
Exhibition, Performance, and Media History
Film Studies Certificate
B.A. 2008 University of California, Berkeley
Political Science & History of Art
Modern and Contemporary
A Gothic Tale, The Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), September 7, 2019-September 12, 2020
An exhibition organized with contemporary artist Alexandre Singh examining one of the key tropes of the Gothic tradition: the doppelgänger. Displayed in a striking scenography of mirrored walls, the exhibition features Singh’s debut film, The Appointment, and approximately thirty works from the Fine Arts museums’ encyclopedic collection.
if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, March 21 - May 2, 2014
An exhibition and film program examining the political movement of anarchism through counter-cultural artistic practices from the 1960s to the present. Participating artists included: Aldo Tambellini, Black Mask, Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers, King Mob, The Living Theater, Lawrence Fink, Raymond Pettibon, Emory Douglas, Gaye “Asali” Dickson, Jackson Mac Low, John Cage, Christopher D'Arcangelo, Adrian Blackwell, Luis Jacob, Carolee Schneemann, Kanonklubben, Andrea Bowers, Olga Koumoundouros, Sam Durant, Sherry Millner & Ernie Larsen, Claire Fontaine, and Elena Bajo. The film program consisted of the work of Lizzie Borden, Bernadette Corporation, and John Jordan & Isabelle Fremeaux.
UNREST: Revolt against Reason, apexart, New York, September 12 - October 27, 2012
An exhibition exploring the intersection of creative practice and political activism in the 21st Century. The exhibition presented eight contemporary artists—mounir fatmi, Claire Fontaine, Shilpa Gupta, Iman Issa, Tala Madani, Ahmet Ögüt, Tomáš Rafa, and Alexandre Singh—who tackle issues of inequality, conflict, and instability in recent history.
Film Producer, "The Appointment," 2017-2019
Produced The Appointment, contemporary artist Alexandre Singh’s surreal 20-minute film. In this playful, supernatural tale, a curmudgeonly novelist, Henry Salt, embarks on an obsessive quest to uncover the identity of his 12 o'clock appointment. Exhibited at the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, in A Gothic Tale, September 2019-December 2020; Metro Pictures Gallery, New York, October-November, 2019; Prague International Indie Film Festival, September 2020; H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, October, 2020; Screamfest Horror Film Festival, Los Angeles, October 2020; Frightfest, London, United Kingdom, October 2020; Dublin International Short Film & Music Festival, Ireland, October 2020; Telluride Horror Show, Colorado, October 2020; Fargo Fantastic Film Festival, North Dakota, October 2020; Nightmares Film Festival, Columbus, Ohio, October 2020; Kino Der Kunst Film Festival, Munich, Germany, November 2020; Morbido Fest, Mexico City, November 2020; PÖFF Shorts, Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia, November 2020; Norwich Film Festival, United Kingdom, November 2020; Fantafestival, Rome, Italy, November 2020; Visioni Fantastiche, Fantastic Visions Film Festival, Ravenna, Italy, November 2020; Miami Short Film Festival, November 2020; New York City Horror Film Festival, December 2020; New Filmmakers New York, April 2021.
“Odd Walls, Even Pages: Andy Warhol as Curator and Editor,” in Andy Warhol Exhibits a glittering alternative, ed. Marianne Dobner (Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, forthcoming September 2020).
“‘Performing Image,’” Performa Magazine, October 2019.
“Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and the CalArts Feminist Art Program, Womanhouse, 1972,” in The Artist as Curator, ed. Elena Filipovic (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 2018), p. 107-120.
“The Origins of the Transhistorical Museum: The Artist as Curator,” The Transhistorical Museum, Frans Hals Museum, 2018.
“Natalie Musteata on ‘Democracy’ by Group Material,” “On Display,” Mousse 61, December 2017-January 2018, p. 202-205.
“Defrosting the Icebox: A Contextual Analysis of Andy Warhol’s Raid the Icebox 1,” Journal of Curatorial Studies, Bristol: Intellect, February 2016.
Review of Emily Mae Smith at Laurel Gitlen, New York, artforum.com, September 2015.
Julia Dault at Marianne Boesky, New York, artforum.com, February 2015.
Editor of and contributor to if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution (Haverford: Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, 2014), the catalog of the eponymously-titled exhibition on the intersection of art and anarchism from 1960 to the present. The publication also includes essays by Gavin Grindon, Allan Antliff, Josh MacPhee, and Nadja Millner-Larsen.
Xavier Le Roy, ‘Retrospective’ at MoMA PS1, New York, ARTnews.com, October 2014.
The Material Image at Marianne Boesky, New York, artforum.com, September 2014.
Erica Baum at Bureau, New York, artforum.com, September 2014.
Positions at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, artforum.com, August 2014.
Living with Pop: A Reproduction of Capitalist Realism at Artists Space, New York, artforum.com, July 2014.
Other Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum, New York, artforum.com, April 2014.
Christoph Schlingensief at MoMA PS1, New York, artforum.com, March 2014.
Arseniy Zhilyaev at the Kadist Foundation, Paris, artforum.com, March 2014.
“Travelogue No. 4: Experimental Time-based Media Galore in Switzerland,” Art21, June 28, 2013.
“Travelogue No. 3: Singularity and Repetition in Venice,” Art21, June 21, 2013.
“Travelogue No. 2: Nouvelles de Paris,” Art21, June 13, 2013.
“Travelogue Entry No. 1: On and Off the Beaten Track in Europe,” Art21, June 6, 2013.
“Iman Issa: Material,” Mercer Union, November 2012.
“Defying the Canon: Performing Histories (1),” Performa Magazine, October 23rd, 2012.
“UNREST: Revolt against Reason,” apexart, September 2012.
“Curating UNREST,” Art21, July 2012.
“Wired to History: Romanian and Lithuanian Video Art Post 1989,” in Former West, 2010. (Includes interviews with: Dan Perjovschi, Mona Vatamanu, Florin Tudor, Stefan Constantinescu, Irina Botea, Istvan Laszlo, and Arturas Raila).
Texts on Robert Bechtle, Jennifer Bornstein, Ulla von Brandenburg, Bruce Conner, Walker Evans, Simryn Gill, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Loris Gréaud, Joseph Grigely, Carsten Höller, Evan Holloway, Glenn Ligon, Steve McQueen, Gareth Moore, Rivane Neuenschwander, Raymond Pettibon, Clare Rojas, Harry Smith, Donald Urquhart, Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans, in The Wizard of Oz (San Francisco: CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 2008).
“Alternative Requirements 2008: Bay Area Student Experimental Film Festival,” Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, September 15, 2008.
Cinema Recontextualized: The Postproduction Artist and the Reborn Spectator, University of California, Berkeley, 2008, thesis.
Conferences & Public Talks
“Colleagues & Friends,” POW Arts, New York, February 2020.
“Socially-Engaged Curating,” Exhibition Development: Art & Activism, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, September 2018.
“‘We’re living in dangerous times’: How Dia Joined Forces with Group Material and Martha Rosler to Combat the Decline of American Democracy,” in Activist Art Practices in Institutions, College Art Association (CAA), Los Angeles, February 2018.
Exhibit A: Authorship on Display (Conference Organizer and Moderator), The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, April 2014. Presentations by: Ian Berry, Claire Bishop, Carol Bove, Caitlin Burkhart, Lynne Cooke, Boris Groys, Chelsea Haines, Lucy Hunter, Grant Johnson, David Joselit, Lewis Kachur, Josh Kline, Florence Ostende, João Ribas, Pietro Rigolo, and Dieter Roelstraete.
“The ‘I’ of the Artist-Curator,” in Exhibition Histories, Centre Pompidou, Université Paris 8, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, February 2014.
Acts of Dissent: Reflections on Art & Politics in the 21st Century (Panel Chair and Moderator), College Art Association (CAA), Chicago, February 2014. Presentations by: Andrew Weiner, Chelsea Haines, Izabel Galliera, Jonah Westerman, Conor M. McGrady, and Benjamin J. Young.
Make Sure You’re Not Being Watched: An Evening of Anarchist Film, (Organizer and Moderator), Screenings of Sherry Millner and Ernie Larsen’s Shoplifting: It’s a Crime? (1978) and Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames (1983), followed by a conversation with Sherry Millner and Ernie Larsen, Interference Archive, New York, December 2013.
“From Radicality to Romanticism: The Artist as Curator,” in Curatorial Practices Reframed: Politics and Pedagogy in Curating Contemporary Art, European University Cyprus, November 2013.
Pixelated Politics: Still & Moving Images in the Digital Age (Panel Organizer and Moderator), The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, April 2013. Presentations by: Mariam Ghani, Lev Manovich, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Christiane Paul, McKenzie Wark.
“Performing Dissent: The Rhetoric of Opposition in Reenactment Performance,” in Take Two: Early Feminist Performance Art in Contemporary Practice, College Art Association (CAA), New York, February 2013.
Performance Art Then and Now, 1960s & 2000s (Panel Chair and Moderator), Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), Durham, October 2012. Presentations by: Charles Aubin and Jonah Westerman.
How Can Art Affect Political Change? (Panel Organizer and Moderator), The Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School for Design, New York, October 2012. Presentations by: Andrea Geyer, Marisa Jahn, Josh MacPhee, Mitch McEwen, Yates McKee, and Benjamin Young.
“Typologies of Real-Time Narrativity in Cinema,” in The London Film and Media Conference, University of London, June 2012.
“The Periferic Gaze,” in Is the Gaze [Still] Male?, Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), November 2011.
“The Post-Communist Condition in Romanian Video Art,” in For the Record: Representations of the Past in Film and Video, Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC), Ottawa, October 2011.
“Collection as Medium: Why do Museums Invite Artists to Re-hang Collections?,” in The Now Museum: Contemporary Art, Curating Histories, Alternative Models, The New Museum, New York, March 2011, <http://www.ici-exhibitions.org/index.php/events/the_now_museum/>.
“From Excess to Minimalism: Romanian Film, 1989-2010,” in To Act or Not to Act: Ethics in Romanian Cinema, Pittsburgh University, October 2010.
Guest Curator, The Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), 2019-2020
Co-curated the transhistorical exhibition A Gothic Tale with contemporary artist Alexandre Singh and curator Claudia Schmuckli from the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Film Producer, The Appointment, 2018-2019
Produced contemporary artist Alexandre Singh’s surreal 20-minute film, The Appointment. Exhibited at the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, in A Gothic Tale, September 2019-June 2020; Metro Pictures Gallery, New York, October-November, 2019; Kino Der Kunst, Munich, forthcoming April 2020; Parcours, Art Basel, forthcoming June 2020.
Nominee for Bonaldi Curatorial Prize, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Bergamo, GAMeC, 2015
Nominated for Bonaldi Curatorial Prize. Exhibition Proposal: The Laugh of the Medusa, a show of nine women artists who utilize humor to address sexual politics. Featuring work by: Tala Madani, Emily Mae Smith, Margaret Lee, Jamie Isenstein, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Casey Jane Ellison, Michele Abeles, Kate Berlant & Natalie Labriola.
Critic, Artforum, 2014-2015
Critics' Pick writer.
Curatorial Fellow, Center for Curatorial Leadership, 2014
Fellow in the Center for Curatorial Leadership/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice, a workshop intensive that introduces young curators to the daily challenges and strategic questions of museum practice. Mentor: Carlos Basualdo.
Guest Curator, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, 2013-2014
Curator of if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution, an exhibition and film program that examines the political movement of anarchism through counter-cultural artistic practices from the 1960s to the present.
Adjunct Curator/Lecturer, The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2013-2014
Organized Moving Images in Theory and Practice, a film studies seminar and interdisciplinary forum for faculty and students working on film and related moving image media, which meets monthly to discuss scholarly texts and workshop papers in progress.
Adjunct Lecturer, Parsons, The New School for Design, 2011-2015
January 2014- December 2014- Art in the XXI Century: “What is Contemporary Art?” This course uses this question as a springboard to investigate the art world circuit of the last two decades. Each class will be dedicated to exploring a specific theme or medium that has been the subject of much recent discourse (e.g. the archival impulse; biennialization; digital art).
September 2013- December 2013- Art into Action: Socially-Engaged Practices in the 20th Century: This course focuses on the ways artists have responded to major historical events in modern history. The class begins with the early avant-garde Futurist Variety Theater, the Berlin Dadaists, and the Russian Constructivists, and concludes with a discussion of our post-9/11 visual world.
September 2012- May 2013- Performance and Participation in the 20th Century: This course investigates the history of Performance Art, beginning with the European avant-garde performance experiments of the 1920s, and concluding with a discussion of the recent surge of performance art exhibitions on an international scale.
September 2011-December 2012- Critical Reading & Writing I & II: a yearlong course that addresses the framework for analyzing art and design from critical perspectives. The class is focused on the mechanics of writing and text interpretation.
Writer in Residence, Art21 Blog: Open Enrollment, New York, 2013
Contributed exhibition reviews for the educational Art21 blog on shows in London, Paris, Venice, Zurich and Basel with a focus on how we write and remember exhibition history.
Performa Writing Live Resident, Performa Magazine, New York, 2012-2013
Contributed features on issues of live art and performance during a year long writing residency at Performa Magazine.
Guest Curator, apexart, New York, 2012
Curator of the exhibition UNREST: Revolt against Reason, which explores the intersection of creative practice and political activism in the 21st Century.
Adjunct Lecturer, Kingsborough Community College, 2011-2012
Taught The Visual Experience: Introduction to the Visual Arts, Past and Present, a survey course that covers the history of art from the Paleolithic age to the present.
Curatorial Fellow, PERFORMA09, New York, 2008-2009
Assisted with the creative and logistical coordination of Not For Sale, a performance and panel discussion for PERFORMA 09; conducted research, wrote texts on participating artists, and worked with graphic designers, architects, and writers to shape the Writing Live program.
Curatorial Intern, Media and Performance, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008
Worked with Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, in the Media and Performance Department at MoMA. Principal responsibilities included exhibition-related research, writing short texts for acquisitions, cataloguing the collection in CEMS, and participating in the performance workshop Live Performance/Dead Material.
Teaching Assistant, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008
Assisted with the course Modern and Contemporary Art, 1945–Today, taught by Professor Tom Williams, which focused on post-World War II artistic practices.
Exhibition Assistant, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, 2007-2008
Collaborated on all aspects of The Wizard of Oz, an exhibition featuring twenty-two international contemporary artists whose works were inspired by L. Frank Baum’s eponymous novel. Conducted research, met with collectors and artists, negotiated and processed loan requests, assisted with the selection of artworks, and contributed texts to the exhibition catalogue.
Curatorial Intern, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, 2007-2008
Curated Alternative Requirements 2008: Bay Area Student Experimental Film Festival, a 60-minute program of short experimental Bay Area films.
Exhibition Intern, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2007
Assisted curators and artists in organizing the following exhibitions: Tunga: Alchemy of Words; Peter Young; Jim Shaw: A Brief History of the Donner Party; Organizing Chaos; Adam Putnam; Orpheus Selection: In Search of Darkness; Jack Whitten; and Cinema Cavern.
Graduate Center Dissertation Fellowship, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2015-2016
Recipient of Graduate Center Dissertation Award, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2014-2015
Recipient of Doctoral Student Research Grant, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2014-2015
Recipient of Conference Presentation Grant, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2009-2014
Recipient of the Part-time Faculty Development Award, The New School for Design, 2012
Recipient of The Ron Black Memorial Scholarship for continued excellence in academic work, The 52nd Street Project, 2004-2012
Member of Phi Beta Kappa Society in recognition of outstanding achievement in the liberal arts and sciences, 2008
Recipient of Maybelle Toombs Award for excellence in scholarship, University of California, Berkeley, 2008
Member of Golden Key International Honor Society in recognition of outstanding academic performance at University of California, Berkeley, 2006-2008
Center for Curatorial Leadership, June 2014