Roles in Archive: New Museum Curator, Staff Member, Artist, Author, Editor, Moderator, Nm Director, Occurrence Presenter, Organizer, Panelist, Presenter, Speaker
Lisa Phillips has been the Director of the New Museum since 1999. Since that time, the New Museum has grown into a major international cultural destination with a roster of critically acclaimed exhibitions with artists like William Kentridge, Cildo Miereles, Paul McCarthy, Paul Chan, Elizabeth Peyton, George Condo, Chris Burden, Carsten Holler, Rosemarie Trockel, and Chris Ofili. It has also become a nexus of innovation in the field, with its award winning educational programs; leading edge art and technology initiatives and innovative platforms to explore an expanded idea of culture and an expanded role for museums. Over the past eighteen years, Phillips has quadrupled the size of the Museum’s attendance, board, staff, and budget. She conceived and realized a major expansion of the Museum’s first dedicated building, which opened on the Bowery in 2007, designed by the leading Japanese architects, SANAA, who went on to win the Pritzker Prize. The Museum quickly became a catalyst for the transformation of the Bowery and surrounding neighborhoods, inspiring Phillips to found Ideas City, and international festival on the future city as well as NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator for art, technology and design. She is currently leading a second major capital project to double the Museum’s size.
From 1978-1998, Phillips was Curator at the Whitney Museum where she organized over twenty exhibitions, including six Biennial exhibitions and landmark thematic shows including “Image World: Art and Media Culture,” “Beat Culture and the New America” and “The American Century: 1050-2000”. At the New Museum she curated the first American museum surveys of Carroll Dunham, Paul McCarthy and John Waters, and most recently organized a major exhibition of the work of Chris Burden.
Phillips has served on the boards of several cultural organizations and foundations, including the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Marion Boulton Stroud Foundation, and the American Association of Museum Directors where she initiated a study on the gender compensation gap among its members.
Phillips has authored over thirty publications, has lectured extensively around the world, and has served as a visiting critic at Yale University. She was named a “Top 40 New Yorker” by New York Magazine as well as a “top 100 Business Women of the Year” by Crain’s, and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” and was recently profiled in the New York Times.