BEYOND THE WHITE CUBE: ANNE HUNTINGTON
A Look at the Other Side of the Art World
By Lori Zimmer
Anne Huntington reminds me of the late, great style icon, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Her impeccable style and long blonde locks command any art opening. But gorgeousness aside, the girl knows interesting and innovative art. And not just art–but also projects. The curator just returned from a successful opening of artist Michael Dweck in one of the least likely of art centers–Havana, Cuba. The show lured over 1,000 guests over capacity, including foreign ambassadors, Castro and Guevara spawn, as well as notable artists and musicians.
The monumental show just proves Huntington’s place in the art world extends far beyond New York. Her company, AMH Industries, curates exciting shows around the city (focusing on innovative sculpture), as well as acting as a private art advisory for a slew of clients. A woman about town, Anne also works with non-profits, co-curates with friends, and helps fine-tune the collections of both corporations and private individuals needing the assistance of her discerning eye.
Lori Zimmer: What do you like about curating shows in pop-up spaces?
Anne Huntington: Pop-up spaces are like dreams–anything is possible. The obstacles and challenges thrill the creative energies and curatorial opportunities. Because the spaces are rarely “white boxes” the ability to have a tight deadline and make a raw, leaking space into a pristine gallery is so much fun. Each space is different just like each show–the dialogues and flow of works are unique. There is a push-and-pull to make everything perfect, which is what the art world is all about. The pop up is the extreme–building spaces out and curating shows is exciting, rewarding, and challenging. Playing with the ideas and curating the show brings everything to life and keeps it real.
LZ: How are you inspired to curate shows? Do you work with a theme first, or base an idea around specific artists you want to work with?
AH: Inspiration is all around. I listen and see as much as possible wherever and whenever. The beauty of curation is that it can be as structured or as unstructured as we want. Sometimes there is a theme, sometimes there is a conversation that turns into a theme–it all depends on the evolution of the parts into the whole. Turning an idea into reality is one of the most rewarding acts–it’s a marriage between figurative and literal.
LZ: How often do you curate shows? What projects do you work on when you don’t have a show up?
AH: I am always developing ideas–the show that just ended on February 28th, JACK & JILL, has been in the works for over a year. Depending on scheduling, I curate shows at least once a season (usually once every two months). However, some of my shows are one night events or innovative lectures, dinners, etc. Depending on the concept that timeline is very flexible. When I do not have a show up, I am dreaming and conceiving shows with co-conspirators, building collections and consulting.
LZ: Would you ever open a permanent gallery of your own?
AH: If the time is right, absolutely. Pop-ups work very well for me now because I travel a lot–for example: I’m leaving for Cuba in two days, and most of April I’ll be in Mexico City and Bogotá. As you see, a permanent gallery doesn’t currently fit with my model; however, in the future, there is always the possibility. Though, even if the stars were aligned and a permanent gallery was the answer, I think my program would continue to be anything but “permanent.”
LZ: What projects do you have coming up?
AH: 2012 has so much momentum and continues to surprise and excite. I’m collaborating with curators on interactive projects in NYC, building projects in Mexico City and Bogotá, as well as innovative shows out in the Hamptons this summer. Get ready!
Anne Hungtington is an NY-based curator, art advisor and fashionable lady.
Written by Lori Zimmer
Photography by Leandro Justen for PatrickMcMullan.com
Design by Marie Havens
Anne Huntington, 58th Annual WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW to Benefit the EAST SIDE SETTLEMENT, Park Avenue Armory, NYC, January 26, 2012, Photography by LEANDRO JUSTEN for PatrickMcMullan.com