Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Michael Rooks joined the High as Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art in January 2010. In addition to his responsibilities at the High, he was appointed Commissioner and co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, in 2010 and was a member of ActArt, President Obama’s initiative bridging contemporary art and social action.
Prior to joining the High, Rooks held curator positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts. At Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, he curated several group exhibitions and solo projects in addition to survey exhibitions of work by Roy Lichtenstein (1999) and H. C. Westermann (2001), for which he co-authored Westermann’s catalogue rasionné of sculpture. As curator at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, he curated more than fifteen exhibitions including projects by Michael Lin, Paul Morrison, and Yoshitomo Nara.
Exhibitions at the High have included Workshopping: An American Model of Architectural Practice (U.S. Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2010); two historical surveys in partnership with MoMA titled Picasso to Warhol: 14 Modern Masters and Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913-2013; KAWS: DOWN TIME; Alex Katz: This Is Now; Al Taylor, What Are You Looking At?; With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith; Imagining New Worlds: Wifredo Lam, José Parlá and Fahamu Pecou; Michael Lin: Utah Sky 2065-40 (blue curve); Sara Sze: Book of Parts; Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors; and Julie Mehretu. Forthcoming exhibitions include David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History; Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors; KAWS GRAFIX; The Obama Portraits; and What Is Left Unspoken, Love, a thematic exhibition organized around concepts of love as explored by contemporary artists.