Townsend, an Online Curatorial Initiative

September 7, 2020
Sophia Chai. Shaft Composition #2, 2020. 20 x 25 in. Archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle. Photography Rag Ultra Smooth paper mounted on Dibond. Edition of 5 with 1 AP. © Sophia Chai.

Townsend is a new curatorial platform that will showcase the work of a global roster of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. Through an ongoing series of virtual and brick-and-mortar presentations, Townsend will highlight these artists and their artworks in various curatorial projects, using a strategy that aims to reduce common barriers to entry regarding the viewing, connoisseurship, and collecting of contemporary art.
For its inaugural project, Inside Out, Townsend has conceived a virtual presentation of limited editions and unique works created in a series. Working across media, the artists Townsend presents are united in their adoption of a robust and sophisticated language of form, line, color, and texture; this in turn becomes a vehicle for an exploration of themes that range from identity politics to climate change.
Future projects will include virtual presentations, and the production of pop-up exhibitions in the Hamptons, New York City, and other domestic and international locations, each introducing artists new to the Townsend platform.
Townsend was conceived by Christopher Milne, an arts professional and artist who has spent two decades cultivating numerous relationships with artists in New York and throughout the world. Ongoing engagement with these colleagues, as well as witnessing the rigor and commitment each brings to their practice, has generated a rich discourse that underpins Milne’s curatorial focus. Townsend reflects this discourse – the conversations and the inspiration that have grown from it – highlighting artists whose work deserves greater visibility.

With Townsend, Milne is reimagining standard curatorial models to speak to the current, shifting landscape of contemporary art in uncertain times. At its core, Townsend is concerned with accessibility: developing a curatorial strategy that engages new communities of contemporary art viewers and collectors will therefore be central to the platform as it grows. As a decentralized, primarily digital platform, Townsend offers an exciting and powerful encounter with contemporary art outside of the urban Blue Chip gallery context. Understanding that the opacity of the art market and high prices for contemporary art constitute a significant barrier to entry for many, Townsend is focused on introducing and presenting work that offers greater financial accessibility, while at the same time supporting the sustainable development of its artists’ markets.

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