Episode: Betti-Sue Hertz

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Betti-Sue Hertz

Betti-Sue Hertz

Betti-Sue Hertz is a contemporary art curator. She was director of visual arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 2008-2015. In 2015 she was also interim director of programs at Headlands Center for the Arts. Hertz served as the curator of contemporary art at San Diego Museum of Art 2000–2008 and director of Longwood Arts Project 1992–1998.

Trained as an artist and art historian, her projects are fueled by the intersection of visual aesthetics and socially relevant ideas, where emotional content is filtered through intellectual machinations.

She understands exhibitions to be a site for the creation of relational structures and comparative propositions to expand opportunities for new perspectives on a wide range of topics.

Selected major exhibitions and catalogues include A Special Curatorial Project with Rirkrit Tiravanija: The Way Things Go (2015); Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, (2014); Landscape: the virtual, the actual, the possible? (2014); Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company 30th Anniversary Exhibition (2013); Dissident Futures (2013); Migrating Identities (2013); and Audience as Subject (2010/2012); Song Dong: Dad and Mom, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well (2011); The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India (2011); and Nayland Blake: Free!Love!Tool!Box! (2012), which received a 2013 Award for a Non Profit/ Alternative Gallery from the International Art Critics Association-USA.

Exhibitions at SDMA include; Animated Painting (2007); Transmission: The Art of Matta and Gordon Matta-Clark (2006); Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia (2004), for which she received the Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award; and Axis Mexico: Common Objects and Cosmopolitan Actions (2002). She has taught art history, visual culture and critical studies courses at Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute and California College of Art.


Documentation of a performance by Athi-Patra Ruga titled “The Elder of Azania” performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Feb. 21 and 22, 2014 as a component of the Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa exhibition organized by YBCA and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on view at YBCA Feb. 21-June 29, 2014. Co-curators: Betti-Sue Hertz, Frank Smigiel and Dominic Willsdon.


Arin Rungjang, Golden Teardrop (installation view), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture on view in A Special Curatorial Project with Ririkrit Tiravanija: The Way Things Go at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Feb. 13- May 24, 2015. Curated by Rirkrit Tiravanija in collaboration with Betti-Sue Hertz.


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