The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has announced the forthcoming retirement of Jeremy Strick, who has served as the museum’s director for 15 years.
In a press release, David Haemisegger, Chair of the Nasher’s Board of Trustees, remarked, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we extend our heartfelt thanks to Jeremy Strick for his indelible contributions. Jeremy has demonstrated that a museum dedicated to a singular field can be dynamic while advancing scholarship, and experimental while retaining purpose and focus.”
Mr. Strick joined the Nasher in 2009 as the second-ever leader of the institution, following the stewardship of inaugural director Steven A. Nash. During his tenure, the museum presented major exhibitions, from retrospectives to historical surveys, including Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Modern Life (2021-22), The Nature of Arp (2018-19), First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone (2018), and Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso 1943-1963 (2013-14), among many others.
Additionally, under Mr. Strick’s leadership the Nasher’s collection grew significantly, including an acquisition of 24 sculptures by Jean (Hans) Arp earlier this year. Other acquisitions include 28 works by Phyllida Barlow, Nicole Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain, five works by Melvin Edwards, two sculptures by Raoul Hague, Nic Nicosia’s bighands, Simone Leigh’s Kasama, Kathleen Ryan’s Jackie, and works by North Texas-area artists. Notably, the collection expansion has included a focus on women artists, artists of color, and LGBTQT+ identifying artists.
Mr. Strick was instrumental in launching the Nasher Prize in 2015. The international award, which has been granted annually until recently (it is now biennially), is given to a living artist in recognition of their impact on the field of sculptural art. To date, Nasher Prize winners have included Senga Nengudi (2023), Nairy Baghramian (2022), Michael Rakowitz (2020-21), Isa Genzken (2019), Theaster Gates (2018), Pierre Huyghe (2017) and Doris Salcedo (2016).
Sir Nicolas Serota, Nasher Prize juror, former Director of the Tate, and current Chair of the Arts Council England, said, “As Jeremy intended, the Nasher Prize has transformed public appreciation of the capacity of contemporary sculpture to raise questions about some of the big issues of our time and has quickly established itself as an award that generates international attention.”
Beyond his work to support international artists, Mr. Strick has led the museum to engage more deeply with local artists. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while many businesses, cultural organizations, and gathering spaces were closed, the Nasher hosted public art projects by 11 early- to mid-career artists, which were visible through the street-facing windows of the institution. The initial 14 weeks of the series, Nasher Public, were so successful that the initiative was expanded. Since 2020, 23 artists and two art collectives have participated in the program. Additionally, in 2022 the museum named artist, curator, and activist Vicki Meek as the inaugural Nasher Fellow in Urban Historical Reclamation and Recognition, launching this major project as an expansion of Nasher Public.
Prior to joining the Nasher, Mr. Strick served as Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles (1999-2008), senior curator at the Art Institute of Chicago (1997-1999), and held curatorial positions at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1993-1997) and National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Mr. Strick pursued graduate studies in Fine Arts at Harvard University and holds a BA in the History of Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Mr. Strick stated, “Serving as Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center has been a tremendous honor and the greatest joy. Working with the extraordinary collection assembled by Raymond and Patsy Nahser, in one of the most beautiful museum settings in the world and given exceptional programmatic freedom by our Board of Trustees, our talented and dedicated staff and I were able to build upon this legacy, championing the field of sculpture, and placing the Nasher at the center of essential conversations in Dallas and around the world.”
Mr. Strick will retire from his position in June 2024. Mr. Haemisegger will lead the international search for Mr. Strick’s successor.