Kari Conte is a curator and writer focused on global contemporary art. Her work is invested in ecological thinking and feminist perspectives.
She is a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Istanbul. Formerly, she was Director of Programs and Exhibitions at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York between 2010 and 2020, where she is currently Senior Advisor. Additionally, she is Residency Curator for Kai Art Center in Tallinn, Advisor to the Helsinki Biennale, and co-founder of Rethinking Residencies.
She has curated more than forty exhibitions; these include recent solo presentations by Fatma Bucak (2022); Alban Muja (2021); Sonia Leimer (2019); Chiara Fumai (2019); Hikaru Fujii (2018); Jennifer Tee (2018); Eva Kot’átková (2016); and Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens (2016) and the research-based group exhibitions Concrete Truth: Art and the Documentary (2017); The Animal Mirror (2016); and Aqueous Earth (2015). She has also curated projects for the Aichi Triennale and Performa Biennial.
She regularly contributes to books, exhibition catalogues and magazines. As a writer, she is interested in the intersection of art, politics, ecology, and feminism as well as institutional and exhibition histories. She published Seven Work Ballets, the first monograph on artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles (Sternberg Press, 2016). Recent texts include In the Spirit of Chiara Fumai (Metropolis M, 2022); Ezgi Erol (Unlimited and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2022); Stutters, Dominique Hurth (Printed Matter, 2021); Curatorial Residencies: Saying yes to who or what turns up (Goethe-Institut, 2020); Localizing the Contemporary: The Kunsthalle Bern Model (JRP|Ringier, 2018); and Socially Engaged Art: History, Theory, Practice (Film Art Inc., Japan, 2018).
She has lectured and taught at institutions including the School of Visual Arts, Emily Carr University, The New York Public Library, Independent Curators International (ICI), ArtTable, New York University, Hunter College, Bard College, Tokyo Arts and Space, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, and the Sharjah Art Foundation, among others. Her curatorial projects have received coverage in publications such as ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, Artnet, Artnews, Carla, Contemporary And (C&), Hyperallergic, New York Magazine, Radical History Review, Tate Papers, and The New York Times.
Born and raised in New York City, she worked at Artists Space, the New Museum, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art early in her career. Between 2007 and 2010 she was based in London, where she worked at Whitechapel Gallery and received an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art. She is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute.