MELISSA BIANCA AMORE, CO-FOUNDER & CURATOR
Melissa Bianca Amore is an international curator, art critic and independent scholar based in New York. Her primary area of exploration surrounds the study of phenomenology, the limitations of perceived space and interactive spatial aesthetics. A highly acclaimed critic and essayist, Amore has written for leading publications and authored exhibition catalogues for museums since 2005. Her thesis examined the cross-over between performance, phenomenology and interactive installation art, which included artists James Turrell and Doug Wheeler. Amore is currently a visiting critic/curator for selected institutions and organizations including, Residency Unlimited, New York and The New School-Parsons, New York.
Amore recently curated (alongside William Stover) the exhibition Sites of Knowledge at Jane Lombard Gallery, New York. The exhibition examined spatial semiotics and language as a visual structure of knowledge, and included works by Richard Artschwager, Henri Chopin, Sophie Tottie and Michael Rakowitz. She curated a solo exhibition titled ThreeFold, on Australian/American installation artist Natasha Johns-Messenger, at El Museo de Los Sures, in New York. ThreeFold was a large-scale installation, an optical prism, predominantly made of mirrors and periscopic devices, which modified the spatial continuity and perceptual reading of the gallery space. In 2012, Amore was appointed the Creative Director and Senior Curator for a non-profit organization - a satellite curated art fair-launching emerging and undiscovered contemporary artists across the Asia Pacific Region.
Amore has been a critic since 2005 and is highly recognized for her contributions to leading publications and authoring catalogue essays for artists, museums and arts organizations. In 2006, Amore was appointed by the Jewish Museum of Australia to curate a large-scale exhibition, Bal Taschit Thou Shalt Not Destroy, featuring over thirty-five artists including Mikala Dwyer, Sam Leach and Lisa Roet who examined religious belief systems by returning to the earliest readings of the Torah, the Talmud and biblical prescriptions about the environment, within a contemporary framework. She was the exhibition manager for a contemporary art space in Melbourne, Australia for over seven years, where she managed Australia's significant and important contemporary artists. She received a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art Criticism and Writing, at the School of Visual Arts in 2014, and a B.A in Philosophy, History of Ideas, and a B.A in Creative Writing (Literature) (Double) and Art History (Minor) in 2005, where she graduated with honors. Amore also undertook the Emerging Writer's Program, in 2006, at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Australia.
WILLIAM STOVER, CO-FOUNDER & CURATOR
Attending art classes at the Carnegie Museum as a seven-year-old instilled in William Stover a passion for art, but it was a visit to the Carnegie International a number of years later, that inspired him to work with living artists. Since that time, Stover has held positions at a number of important and diverse institutions as well as worked independently to present the art of our time.
From 1997-1999 Stover was Exhibitions Associate at Independent Curators International where he oversaw the production of exhibitions and catalogues for a number of significant exhibitions, including, From the Poetic to the Political: Irish Art Now and Lee Krasner, the first large-scale retrospective of the artists’ work since her death in 1984. Stover’s tenure at the New Museum of Contemporary Art saw him managing the day-to-day operations of the Curatorial Department as well as coordinating the production of catalogues for Paul McCarthy and Pierre et Gilles, among others.
In 2002 Stover was appointed Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, a fairly traditional, encyclopedic museum, to reinvigorate the contemporary department with an innovative program of exhibitions, events, and acquisitions from a global perspective. Among such projects, Stover commissioned the performance, My Boston, from Zhang Huan to celebrate the acquisition of his work and to establish the presence of performance art at the MFA, introduced the work of Cerith Wyn Evans to new audiences through his first museum show in the United States, and invited Jim Lambie to create an installation inspired by the architecture of the MFA. Additionally, Stover conducted a critical examination of the collection to fill gaps and expand areas of strength. From the strengths, and addressing those gaps, he devised inventive displays, which allowed viewers to see the collection in new and unexpected ways; including the exhibition “Seeing Songs” which presented work by artists as diverse as Wassily Kadinsky and Candice Breitz that was inspired by music; transforming something that is arguably intangible, into visual, physical form; to explore issues of technology and loneliness in contemporary society.
Stover’s practice has allowed the viewer’s engagement with art to be about extended looking, thinking and interacting with art situated within different locations and contexts. Since returning to New York in 2010, Stover has curated a number of exhibitions including Carlos Dávila Rinaldi: Only Essence Remains, Museum of the Americas, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Alpine Desire, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; Ellen Harvey and Jason Middlebrook: The Natural Order of Things, DODGEgallery, New York; Sites of Memory: Architecture and Remembering, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York; Clothes make the man? Childs Gallery, Boston. Stover currently curates a significant collection of contemporary art in New York.