Sothebys: What attracted you to art and curation?
Lolita Cros: I was studying Art History in college and learning about dead artists, or artists that had already made it. I thought, this is kind of crazy, because I’m in a school where young people are learning to be artists and maybe someone in this batch will become famous; someone that my grandchildren might learn about in school one day. That’s when I started doing studio visits, because I was curious of what other students around me were doing. I started having conversations with all these artists and thought, I should translate these conversations into a visual experience for an audience. That’s how I did my first show, Sophomore year of college.
S: What does space mean to you in relation to art, and how important is the nature of a space to the power or success of a show?
LC: A space is not central, but extremely important for the viewer’s perception of the work as it adds a certain tone to the exhibition, almost like an under layer. Throughout my career I’ve curated shows in different types of spaces from a truck to a co-working space, sometimes the location would complement the work, other times it was more of a challenge where the meaning of the piece would conflict with the nature of the space. In each case, both can not be dissociated. Curating in public spaces can be a particularly interesting challenge as a work can somehow become political when it wasn’t intended to be.
S: Which famous show in the history of art do you wish you had attended?
LC: Probably The Family of Man curated by Steichen at MoMA, NY in 1955. A very important show in the history of photography.
“For me it’s important to mix different types of works, photos, paintings, sculptures, to multiply media and to show the range and diversity of artistic expression (…) The NOW! sale has everything I like: different types of works, materials, names and prices. It’s how I work!”
S: How do you think the role of art and artists will evolve in the coming decades alongside developments in society, technology and politics?
LC: I noticed that curators and museum directors are more conscious of the lack of diversity in institutions and galleries and therefore are starting to include more women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and artists of color in their shows, which is great. While it will take a while for the balance to be even, I hope that people will continue to make efforts and that those artists will one day be seen as “painters, photographers, sculptors, etc.” instead of “female painter” or “queer sculptor”. Because I rarely hear about a “white male artist” when mentioning Degas, Picasso or Rodin.
S: Do you have an all time favourite building that you would love to curate a show in?
LC: Many. I have a list on my phone of locations to do shows in. There was an abandoned bank in NY on 116th St & Madison (if I remember correctly), which I was obsessed with growing up; there are also a few barber shops that I’ve spotted in TriBeCa. Strip clubs have always been fascinating to me and I’m still looking for the perfect one.
S: In buying art for your own collection, what have been some of your favourite acquisitions? Are there any pieces you didn’t buy that you wish you had?
LC: I really love all the works I bought, I see them as my children, or pets rather. I bought a photograph by Louis Heilbronn after we worked together on his first solo show in NY, and I love it. I wish I bought this other piece by Chase Hall, which I ended up selling to someone else. I curated a solo show of his in 2018 and that painting was included in the show. I also regret not buying the work of Tschabalala Self that I exhibited in 2013.
Banner image by Eva Sakellarides.
Visit Lolita Cros's Website here.