When Legacy Russell joined the Studio Museum in Harlem last year as associate curator of exhibitions, the institution’s director, Thelma Golden, praised her “energetic spirit of public engagement.” A curator, writer, and lecturer, Russell is also the force behind “glitch feminism,” a movement she has described as deploying “the digital as a means of resisting the hegemony of the corporeal.” (It is also the title of her forthcoming first book.)
At the Studio Museum’s temporary programming space—its new, David Adjaye–designed home is being built—Russell launched “Radical Reading Room,” an exhibition that brings together artists, writers, publishers, and community organizers around the history of black printed matter, and cocurated the group show “MOOD: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2018–2019” at MoMA PS1. This is the first of several partnerships between the two institutions during the museum’s construction. Russell is also working closely with Studio Museum Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden to curate an exhibit on the artist Michael Armitage at MoMA, which will debut when the museum reopens in October after renovations. Engagement, Russell says, is crucial. To be responsible to its audience, a museum “must exist in the world, bending to what is happening daily around the institution.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Fall issue under the headline “Women Changing the Art World” Subscribe to the magazine.