After establishing Logan Center Exhibitions, helping expand a prestigious exhibition

November 15, 2014

Monika Szewczyk, Visual Arts Program Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, will leave her position at the end of this year in order to join the curatorial team of documenta, an esteemed exhibition of contemporary art held every five years.

“Monika has done an exceptional job as the inaugural leader of the Logan Center’s exhibitions program. While I’m sorry to see her leave, I’m excited to see a close UChicago colleague continue to make an impact in the field of contemporary art,” said Logan Center executive director Bill Michel. “Her curatorial vision has advanced the inquisitive spirit of the university and the cultural vitality surrounding it through an open, collaborative, and critical approach to contemporary art presentation and programming.”

Under Szewczyk’s curatorial leadership, Logan Center Exhibitions has hosted a remarkable 23 exhibitions in little more than two years. Szewczyk’s experience in collaboratively building a new exhibitions program should serve her well in her new role. She will join a group led by documenta 14 artistic director Adam Szymczyk as documenta plans to expand its presence to Athens.

documenta is one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of contemporary art. In 2012, dOCUMENTA (13) drew more than 905, 000 visitors to Kassel, Germany, the site of the exhibition since its inception in 1955. In 2017, documenta 14 will establish a second site—Athens—placing Kassel and the Greek capital on equal footing as the two locations of the exhibition. 

Under Szewczyk, Logan Center Exhibitions has featured the work of Ricardo Busbaum, David Shutter, and Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater, among others. Szewczyk’s most recent exhibition, Szalon, open through November 23, springs from an interest in oral traditions and the treatment of the gallery as both a salon and a studio, concepts that were present in her first project at the Logan Center, Televisionism. In addition, Szewczyk has worked closely with UChicago faculty and other guest curators on exhibitions such as AFRICOBRA: Philosophy, Diasporal Rhythms: A Ten Year Love Affair with Collecting Art of the African Diaspora, and Yang Fudong: East of Que Village, which was part of the recent campus-wide festival Envisioning China. She also curated the two most recent annual exhibitions featuring the work artists-in-residence of the Arts + Public Life initiative and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

Szewczyk also worked closely with students and faculty, supporting several successful MFA and BA exhibitions, lecturing in the art history and visual arts departments, and partnering with colleagues across campus to bring artists to campus for talks and performances. 

Before joining the Logan Center staff, Szewczyk was Head of Publications at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (2008–11), Assistant Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2004–07), and Exhibitions Coordinator at the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Satellite Gallery in downtown Vancouver. She has taught at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver), the Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), and the Bergen Art Academy. Her writings have appeared in numerous catalogs as well as journals such as Afterall, Artforum, The Exhibitionist, and e-flux journal online.

Szewczyk will leave her role at the University on December 31, 2014. The Logan Center is currently conducting an international search for her successor. Logan Center Exhibitions inquires may be sent to