Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.
Susan Sollins was co-founder, with Nina Castelli Sundell, of ICI, and its Executive Director from the organization’s inception in 1975, until 1996. In 1997, Susan founded Art21, an organization dedicated to introducing contemporary art to millions of people through television and digital media – in many ways a continuation of her goals in setting up ICI. The documentaries created by Art21 were a new form of dynamic portraits capturing the Lives of the Artists of today, which made Susan, in the words of ICI Board Chair Patterson Sims, “the Vasari of our own times.”
Susan was a member of the senior curatorial team at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum early in her career, and was visual-arts consultant for Thirteen/WNET’s TV program City Arts. Among the exhibitions she curated with ICI are Art in Landscape (1976–77), New Sculpture: Icon and Environment (1983–84), Points of View: Four Painters (1985–86), Eternal Metaphors: New Art from Italy (1989–92). She also co-curated many ICI exhibitions, including Supershow! (1979–80), After Matisse (1986–88), and Team Spirit (1990–92), co-curated with Nina Castelli Sundell. She contributed to ICI’s Project 35 (2010-12). She received a Peabody Award for “Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2007), and great critical acclaim for her feature-length film on William Kentridge, broadcast on PBS (2010). She served on the boards of the MacDowell Colony and ICI. In 2008, she also received the Skowhegan Governors Award for Outstanding Service to Artists (2008).
Project 35 is a program of single-channel videos selected by 35 international curators who have each chosen one work by an artist that they think is important for audiences around the world to experience today. The resulting compendium is released in four installments and is presented simultaneously in an ever-expanding number of venues.read more »
Since the mid-to-late 1960s, collaboration as a mode of production and self-definition has become increasingly visible in the international art world. Most forms of art – theater, film, dance, architecture, and music – are inherently collaborative. With rare exceptions, all involve the participation of more than one individual.read more »
The differences in style and medium of each of the artists are significant but, in all the work, there exists a primary faith in the possibility of making a living connection between the specific now and the specific shared past. Rather than rummaging through the closets of art history to scavenge for relics or remnants of that past to be used as self-conscious quotation or as a bank of images, these Italian artists are at ease with their inheritance.read more »