CFA SPECIAL EVENT: Art & Its Environment

Michael Govan, CEO LACMA to visit UNM

The Director and CEO of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Michael Govan, will present a lecture entitled Art & Its Environment: From Land Art to Moving Megaliths Through Los Angeles, on Monday, March 18th, at the UNM Art Museum. As part of LACMA's Transformation, Mr. Govan has orchestrated the commission and installation of the artist projects that dot the museum's campus, beginning with Chris Burden's Urban Light (2008), Robert Irwin's evolving palm garden and most recently Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass (2012). In 2008, Govan was selected as one of Esquire Magazine's 75 most influential people.

Michael Govan joined the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as Chief Executive Officer and Wallis Annenberg Director in 2006. In this role, he oversees all activities of the museum, including art programming and the Transformation campaign, an ambitious, multi-faceted building project that is expanding, upgrading, and unifying the museum's eight-building, twenty-acre campus, most recently including the addition of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion.

Since Mr. Govan's arrival at LACMA, he has realized his vision of contemporary artists interacting with the museum's historic collections, as evidenced by John Baldessari's installation of the exhibition Magritte and Contemporary Art; Jorge Pardo's innovative gallery design for the museum's permanent collection of ancient Latin American art; and Franz West's installation design for an exhibition of the museum's recently acquired collection of art of the Pacific Islands.

From 1994 to 2006, Mr. Govan was President and Director of Dia Art Foundation in New York City, where he spearheaded the creation of the critically acclaimed, 292,000-square-foot Dia:Beacon, a museum in New York's Hudson Valley that houses Dia's renowned collection of art from the 1960s to the present. Dia's collection itself nearly doubled in size during Mr. Govan's tenure. Prior to Dia Art Foundation, Mr. Govan served for six years as Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Michael Govan was born in 1963, in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.A. in Art History from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he served as Acting Curator of the Williams College Museum of Art and, in 1986, organized the exhibition Picasso and Rembrandt. Before continuing his studies at the University of San Diego, Mr. Govan studied Renaissance art in Italy.

Photo: Levitated Mass, Michael Heizer (2012)

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University of New Mexico
College of Fine Arts
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