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Karen Moss
Interim Chair
Teaches In
MFA Public Practice

BA, UC Santa Cruz, MA & PhD, University of Southern California


Moss is a Los Angeles-based art historian, curator and writer who organizes exhibitions, artists’ residencies, performance series, and public programs. Her areas of expertise include conceptual, performance and intermedia art since the 1960s, contemporary art and social practices, and experimental pedagogies.


Currently, Moss is consulting curator for Talking to Action, at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis’ participation part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles/Latin America initiative and is also on the curatorial team for CURRENT: LA, the upcoming inaugural Los Angeles Public Art Biennial.

Previously, Moss was Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs and Curator at Orange County Museum of Art, where she curated numerous exhibitions including State of Mind: New Art from California Circa 1970 for the Getty’s PST LA, 1945-1985; Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin and Florence Pierce; California Biennials and accompanying residency projects with Jed Caesar, Mary Kelly, Shana Lutker, My Barbarian and Mario Ybarra, among others.

Prior to OCMA, as Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute, Moss curated Sharon Lockhart/Kelly Nipper, Topographies, Touch: Relational Art from the 1990s (with Nicolas Bourriaud) and international residencies with Tania Bruguera, Lee Bul, Los Carpinteros, Wim Delvoye, Pierre Huyghe/Philppe Parenno, and Rikrit Tiranvanija, among others.

In her position as Curator and Director of Education and Public Programs at the Walker Art Center, Moss curated Performance in the 1970s: Experiencing the Everyday, Art of the 1960s: Media is the Message and oversaw artists’ residencies, lectures, panels, symposia and other public programs.

Moss was the first Director of Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art where she curated Kim Abeles: Encyclopedia Persona, Altered Egos: Making Art as Another and co-organized SMMOAs’ signature series of site-specific installations. Early in her career she was assistant curator at MOCA, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Moss has published curatorial essays in exhibition catalogues and has written articles, essays and interviews for both art publications and scholarly journals. She also currently teaches in the USC Roski Curatorial M.A. Program and has taught previously at Cal State University Long Beach, and San Francisco Art Institute.