As a new director of The FLAG Art Foundation, time is on Jonathan Rider’s side. “The contemporary art world moves at a breakneck pace, which can foster a what’s-next culture of looking at and thinking about art,” says Rider, who’s spent the better part of a decade at the nonprofit exhibition space in the heart of West Chelsea, founded by art patron and philanthropist Glenn Fuhrman in 2008. In the spirit of a kunsthalle, FLAG borrows artworks from various lenders—artists, galleries, private collectors, institutions—to mount six plus solo and thematic group shows annually, whether organized in-house and curated by Rider, or designed by guest curators and artists themselves, such as blockbuster presentations by Awol Erizku and Elmgreen & Dragset. The Foundation is also heralded for its nimble response to current moments in the collective consciousness, such as “The Times” (2017) which explored ways in which artists used the paper of record to address and reframe issues after the 2016 election. “FLAG isn’t immune to working fast,” Rider says. “But our exhibitions are on view for up to three months at a time, which allows for thoughtful programming, time to commission scholarly texts and other opportunities to expand the conversation around the shows.”
As The FLAG Art Foundation's New Director, Jonathan Rider Allows for Thoughtfulness
Rider is nimble when it counts: leading the Foundation into a new era of public programming.