The Speakers


Matthew Barney

From his earliest work, Matthew Barney has explored the transcendence of physical limitations in a multimedia art practice that incorporates films, video installations, sculpture, photography, and drawing. Over the course of a 25-year career, he has become known for his experimentation with unorthodox materials and processes. Barney’s notable projects include the CREMASTER Cycle, which was the subject of a 2002 retrospective organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and traveled to the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; DRAWING RESTRAINT, an ongoing series begun in 1987 and featured in several museum exhibitions worldwide; and most recently RIVER OF FUNDAMENT, which will be presented in an upcoming solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in September.

Reinhard Bek

Prior to enrolling in the Conservation Program for Technical Cultural Objects of the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Reinhard Bek apprenticed as a ship-builder in Hamburg from 1993 to 1996, as well as interned in the conservation departments of several museums in Germany. He was a Fellow at the Swiss Institute of Art Research (SIK), Zurich, Switzerland, in 2001, and completed his training as an objects conservator in 2002. Reinhard joined the Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland, and served as its Chief Conservator from 2002 to 2012. In 2009 he was a Twelve-Month Conservation Research Fellow with The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since 2012 Reinhard has been partner of bek&frohnert LLC, based in New York City.

Ted Bonin

Ted Bonin is a partner in Alexander and Bonin, a New York gallery established in 1995 with the primary purpose of representing a selected group of international contemporary artists and artists’ estates. In his previous position at Brooke Alexander, Bonin worked with Paul Thek to install his last lifetime exhibition in 1988; and in 1993, began working with Ree Morton’s estate. Since that time he has been involved in the research and presentation of numerous monographic exhibitions of both artists including Paul Thek: Diver, A Retrospective, curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Lynn Zelevansky at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010, and the forthcoming BE a place, PLACE an image, IMAGINE a poem - Ree Morton: A Retrospective, opening at the Reina Sofia, Madrid later this year.

Martha Buskirk

Professor of art history and criticism at Montserrat College of Art since 1994, Martha Buskirk has also held visiting appointments in the History, Theory and Criticism Program at MIT during 2005 and 2013. She is author of Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art between Museum and Marketplace (Continuum, 2012) and The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art (MIT Press, 2003), and she is co-editor of The Duchamp Effect (with Mignon Nixon, MIT Press, 1996) and The Destruction of Tilted Arc: Documents (with Clara Weyergraf-Serra, MIT Press, 1990). She has also written numerous catalogue essays and articles that have appeared in Artforum, October, Art in America, and other venues. Buskirk earned her Ph.D. in art history from the City University of New York, Graduate Center and has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2000-2001, the Clark Art Institute in 2004, and the Henry Moore Institute in 2006. 

John R. Cahill

An attorney who focuses his practice on legal matters that arise in the art world, Mr. Cahill provides counseling, representation in litigation, and handles transactions for leading art collectors, art dealers, auction houses, art advisors, fine art insurers, appraisers, museums, lenders, nonprofits, artists, and estates. Through his New York law firm, Cahill Partners LLP, he is engaged in a wide range of matters, including art title and authenticity disputes (including two cases arising out of the Knoedler-Freedman scandal), commercial transactions concerning fine art (sales, acquisitions, loans, etc.), intellectual property, and fine art insurance. Mr. Cahill is a past Chair of the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. He frequently writes and lectures about art law-related matters in a variety of venues, including at Columbia University, New York University, and at Christie’s and Sotheby’s graduate programs.

Dana Cranmer

Dana Cranmer is an art conservator in private practice in New York, specializing in modern and contemporary paintings. A graduate of Scripps College, Claremont, California and the Master's program at Hunter College, she was a staff member of the Guggenheim Museum conservation department from 1970 to 1981, when she became Conservator to the newly-reformulated Mark Rothko Foundation.  After the Rothko Foundation dispersed its collection in 1988, she founded Cranmer Art Group, located in SoHo.

John Hogan

A principal draftsperson for the Sol LeWitt Studio since 1982, John Hogan became Installations Director for the LeWitt Estate following LeWitt’s death in 2007 - an appointment which involved overseeing numerous LeWitt Installations such as the US Mission to the UN, Centre Pompidou Metz, Museum M in Leuven, Belgium, the creation of the MASS MoCA retrospective, as well as works in private collections. In 2013 he was named the Mary Jo and Ted Shen Installations Director and Archivist for Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings at the Yale University Art Gallery, a unique position of collaboration among conservators, curators, and artists. The program is dedicated to realizing LeWitt’s vision of maintaining the integrity of the work into the future as well as providing a resource for the related materials and methods utilized in the installation of the Wall Drawings.

Ingrid Schaffner

Questions of conservation have loomed large in Schaffner’s work, including the exhibitions: Jason Rhoades, Four Roads (current); Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Contemporary Art (1998); and Chocolate! (1995). She recently served on a committee convened by The Andy Warhol Museum to advise on Warhol's Time Capsules. Since 2000, Schaffner has supervised the exhibition program as chief curator at Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She was recently appointed to curate the 57th Carnegie International in 2018. 

Debbie Taylor

In 1971 Debbie Taylor came to New York and began working as a personal assistant to Robert Rauschenberg (1971-1976) and then as the archivist at the Leo Castelli Gallery (1976-1982). She married Al Taylor in 1975 and has managed his career ever since his untimely death in 1999, cataloguing his art, curating exhibitions, and overseeing the publication of monographs on his work. The Estate of Al Taylor has been represented by David Zwirner since 2007.

Renée Vara

Renée Vara is an art advisor and private curator whose firm provides holistic service for collections. She is a Certified Appraiser and Board Member for Appraisers Association of America. She teaches at NYU SPS and has been past Lecturer at the Guggenheim & Sotheby's Institute. Vara has managed and advised collections in the 1b range and was the National Fine Arts Specialist for Chubb Insurance for over a decade. She has been featured in countless publications for her expertise.