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(Joseph Low Karmel)

Department of Art History, NYU

100 Washington Square East, Rm. 303

New York, NY 10003

Tel: 212-998-8180


Professional Experience


Professor, Department of Art History (until 2007, Department of Fine Arts),

New York University, 1999 to the present

(Tenured in September 2003; promoted to full professor in 2022)

Visiting Professor, Hunter College, 1993–97


Associate Curator, Museo Picasso Málaga, Spain, 2019–22

Adjunct Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture,

The Museum of Modern Art, 1996–99


Art critic for The New York Times, 1995–96

Selected Exhibitions

Associate Curator [visiting curator], Diálogos con Picasso: Coleccíon 2020–2023, Museo Picasso Málaga: designed plan for reinstallation of works from the MPM permanent collection and loans from the Bernard Ruiz Picasso collection (FABA); supervised actual installation; oversaw catalogue design.

With Joachim Pissarro: Conceptual Abstraction. Hunter College / Times Square Gallery, New York, October–November 2012.

Ann Sperry: Harmonic Convergence. The Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York, 2010.


New York Cool: Painting and Sculpture from the NYU Art Collection, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 2008 (traveled to 4 other university galleries in 2009).


Lenore Malen, Cue Art Foundation, New York, 2007.


La época de Picasso: donaciones a los museos americanos (The Age of Picasso: Gifts to American Museums), Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain, July–September 2004; Picasso e la sua epoca: donazioni a musei americani, Rome: Fondazione Memmo, September 2004–January 2005.


With Kirk Varnedoe: Jackson Pollock, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 1998–February 1998–1999.


With Kirk Varnedoe: Picasso: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, High Museum of Art,

Atlanta, fall 1997; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, spring 1998; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, fall 1998.


Robert Morris: The Felt Works, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 1989.


Consultant, working with William Rubin: Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism, The Museum of

Modern Art, New York,1989.

Selected Publications: Books and Exhibition Catalogues

Looking at Picasso. London and New York: Thames & Hudson, 2023.


Dialogues with Picasso: 2020–2023 Collection. Co-authored with José Lebrero Stals (exh. cat.).

Málaga: Museo Picasso Málaga, 2020. “Dialogues with Picasso [introduction],” 39–63; “The Human Figure in Picasso’s Drawings, 1906–1913,” 81–119.


Abstract Art: A Global History. London and New York: Thames & Hudson, 2020.


Conceptual Abstraction ( New York: Hunter College Art Galleries / Times Square Gallery.

Picasso and the Invention of Cubism. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003. Re-issued on Yale’s Art & Architecture ePortal, 2022.

Lenore Malen, (exh. cat. with curator’s statement). New York: Cue Art Foundation, 2007.

Jackson Pollock: Interviews, Articles, and Reviews (editor). New York: The Museum of Modern Art,


Jackson Pollock, co-authored with Kirk Varnedoe (exh. cat.). New York: The Museum of

Modern Art, 1998.

Picasso: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, co-authored with Kirk Varnedoe (exh. cat.). New York: Museum of Modern Art and Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1997–98.

Selected Essays and Reviews

“Picasso: The Body of Sculpture.” In Picasso Sculptor: Matter and Body, edited by Carmen Giménez, 28–48. Málaga: Museo Picasso Málaga, 2023.

Speculum Mundi: Guillermo Kuitca’s Drawn Paintings.” In Guillermo Kuitca: Drawn Paintings, 5–13. New York: Sperone Westwater, 2022.

“Looking Back at the Earth: A Conversation between Pepe Karmel and Shahpour Pouyan.” In

Shahpour Pouyan: Skyhigh is My Place, 67–81. Deurle, Belgium: Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, 2021.

“Ad Reinhardt: Still Motion.” In Ad Reinhardt: Art is Art and Everything Else is Everything Else, edited by Manuel Fontán del Junco and María Toledo, 46–55. Madrid: Fundación Juan March, 2021.

“Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities.” The Brooklyn Rail, September 2021.

“Cubism and the Politics of Form.” In The Cubism Seminars: CASVA Seminar Papers 3, edited by

Harry Cooper, 123–169. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2017.

“The Negro Artist’s Dilemma: Bearden, Picasso, and Pop Art.” In Romare Bearden: American Modernist (Studies in the History of Art 71), edited by Ruth Fine and Jacqueline Francis, 249–268. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.

“Adolph Gottlieb: Self and Cosmos.” In Adolph Gottlieb: A Retrospective, edited by Luca Massimo

Barbero, 23–52. Venice: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, 2010. Revised version published as “Adolph Gottlieb: Artist and Cosmos.” In Adolph Gottlieb: Gravity, Suspension, Motion: Paintings: 1954–1972, 5–29. New York: Pace Gallery, 2012.

“Oedipus Wrecks: New York in the 1980s.” In Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collections, edited by Stephanie Barron and Lynn Zelevansky, 102–141. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001.


1993, Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U.

Dissertation: "Picasso's Laboratory: The Role of his Drawings in the Development of Cubism,1910–1914"

1987, M.A., Institute of Fine Arts, N.Y.U.

1977, Harvard B.A., magna cum laude in French History and Literature



NEW YORK, NY, 10128


Professional Experience

President, SNAP Editions

New York, NY

April 2011Present

SNAP Editions is an art publications company servicing museums, artists, galleries, and publishing companies, which offers its clients a range of services required to create for the highest quality art publications and collateral material, including exhibition catalogues, brochures, and graphics. The company designs, edits, and oversees the entire publication and production process for the above products. A selection of our clients include: the AKG Art Museum, Buffalo, NY; Hunter Art College Galleries, NY; the American-Scandinavian Foundation, NY; the Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; DC Moore Gallery, NY; Yares Art, NY; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA; Yale University Press, New Haven, CT; Rizzoli, NY; and Skira editore, Milan.

Director, American Federation of Arts [AFA]

New York, NY

August 2009March 2011

Directed and oversaw all curatorial and institutional operations of the nation’s leading non- collecting arts and service organization that originates and circulates exhibitions nationally and internationally. Since 1909, the AFA has traveled over 3,000 exhibitions worldwide viewed by over 10 million visitors. The organization also organizes education programs and symposia for the general public and art museum professionals. Re-engaged the international art exhibition program and the contemporary arm of its exhibition program. During my tenure, the institution realized over 25 projects in various stages of development. Conferred and met with art museum directors and curators in the US, United Kingdom, France, Qatar, Holland, and Denmark.


  • Etruscan Art from the Louvre; Women Painters in 19th-Century Paris, co-organized with the Musee d’Orsay, Paris

  • Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris

  • Rolling Hills and Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape, selected from the collections of National Museum Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

  • Richard Bell: Uz vs.Them (the first US-based tour of the celebrated Aboriginal artist); traveled to Tufts University Art Gallery, Boston; the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington; the Victoria H. Myren Gallery, University of Denver; and the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington

  • Artists as Critics; Critics as Artists, curated by Elizabeth C. Baker and Nancy Princenthal

  • The California Abstract Classicists, curated by Michael Duncan

  • SITE Santa Fe’s 2010 International Biennial, The Dissolve, curated by Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco

Director, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Santa Fe, NM

April 1998August 2009

Situated in predominantly Hispanic and Native communities, I directed and managed curatorial and operational aspects of the Museum and its Research Center with a $9.2 million annual operating budget, $35 million endowment campaign, 175,000 annual attendance, 55 full-time staff members, and 25 part-time staff with five senior professionals. Primary responsibilities included oversight of planning the Museum’s exhibition and education programs in addition to the creation of an exhibition program that exhibited the work of living artists. Under my tenure the Research Center was founded and built—the only one of its kind dedicated to the multidisciplinary arts in American Modernism and for which residencies and grants were awarded competitively.


  • Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place

  • Anne Truitt: Sculpture

  • Sherrie Levine, Abstraction

  • Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Landscape of A Modernist

  • George O’Keeffe: Abstraction, co-organized with The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY and The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC.

  • O’Keeffe’s O’Keeffes; traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum, WI and the Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark

  • Eye of Modernism. The exhibition comprised sixty-four works on paper dating from 1890s to the present and included works Philip Guston, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Archile Gorky, and John Marin

  • Views of the City: 1910-1949. Works on paper and photographs by 28 of Georgia O’Keeffe’s contemporaries

  • O’Keeffe on Paper; traveled to the National Gallery of Art, DC

  • Artists of the Stieglitz Circle. The exhibition included works by Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, and Paul Strand

Executive Director and Chair, Exhibition Committee, Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah, NY

March 1988April 1998

Assuming the post as the first professional director of an organization that had been operating for 25 years, major duties included chairing and directing the exhibition committee, development and implementation of $900,000-$1,000,000 annual operating budget; oversight of design and construction of a new museum facility designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes; conception and development of at least six exhibitions annually originating at Museum, some of which toured nationally; strategic planning in all phases of Museum operations; management of 23 staff assisted by corps of 210 volunteers. Notable accomplishments included major gift fundraising for $5.3 million capital campaign, endowment, and operating budget; granting of first-time accreditation by American Association of Museums in 1995; national recognition of exhibition program.


  • Object as Insight: Japanese Buddhist Art and Ritual; traveled to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

  • Dorothy Dehner: Sixty Years of Art; toured to Hyde Museum, Glen Falls, NY, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

  • Against the Stream: Avery, Gottlieb and Rothko in the 30s

  • Under Changing Skies: Landscapes by Frederic E. Church; traveled to Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hannover, NH

  • Friends and Family: Portraiture in the World of Florine Stettheimer

  • Asobi: Play in the Arts of Japan; traveled to San Antonio Museum, TX and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA

  • In Good Conscience: The Radical Tradition in 20th Century American Illustration; traveled to the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hannover, NH, and the Montgomery Museum of Art, AL

  • Jacob Lawrence: The Early Decades

  • The Intimate Eye of Edouard Vuillard

  • Photography of Lourdes Almeida

Program Director, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution

New York, NY

Planned subscription adult education offerings – lectures, seminars, symposia, tours, workshops, performing arts, and special events relating to design, architecture, and decorative arts.


Board and Professional Affiliations

  • Trustee, East Side Settlement House, New York

  • Trustee, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York

  • Trustee, The College of Santa Fe

  • Trustee, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe

  • Member of the Clyfford Still Museum National Council

  • Founding trustee, Creative Santa Fe

  • Trustee, Association of Art Museum Directors Chair, Program Committee

  • Trustee, New Mexico Association of Museums


Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. BFA

Bennington College, VT

SNAP Editions

Smart New Art Publications, a publishing and communications company based in New York, offers its clients the range of services required for the highest quality art publications and collateral material, including exhibition graphics and branding—from conception to completion.

Today's international businesses demand fast-track deadlines, results, and SNAP Editions is accustomed to meeting aggressive schedules, streamlining all aspects of editorial content, design, and production, as well as developing areas of cross-platform publishing, while ensuring timely completion and product excellence.

SNAP Editions will be adding a not-for-profit [501(C)] component [name to be announced] that will be developed with the counsel and recommendation of an international advisory committee. The new imprint will publish a limited portfolio of unique volumes, catalogues, and other printed objects intended to memorialize and perpetuate events, exhibitions, symposia, among others, in the visual arts, performance, and literary arenas that merit physical as well as digital documentation.

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