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Hollis Taggart appoints Director of Contemporary Art & Director of Exhibitions
Jillian Russo. Courtesy Jillian Russo. Photo: Meiying Thai.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hollis Taggart announced today that it has appointed Paul Efstathiou as Director of Contemporary Art. The appointment marks the gallery’s ongoing expansion of its primary market business, and supports its vision to create a greater interplay between its work with emerging and mid-career artists and the presentation of its vast holdings of Post-War American art. Efstathiou, who previously worked as an independent curator and dealer, has collaborated with the gallery on several prior exhibitions, including group shows that featured such artists as William Buchina, Marcel Dzama, Brenda Goodman, Hiroya Kurata, and Esther Ruiz, as well as Los Angeles-based artist John Knuth’s first solo exhibition in New York City. To further bolster its leadership team, Hollis Taggart has also appointed Jillian Russo as Director of Exhibitions. Russo previously served as Curator for the Art Students League of New York. Efstathiou will begin his new role at Hollis Taggart on July 15, 2019. Russo has already taken her position.

“Over the last several years, the gallery has been increasingly engaged with young, emerging artists as well as mid-career artists that we feel desire wider recognition. With Paul’s appointment, we are solidifying our commitment to nurturing their careers and creating greater capacity to connect with and support contemporary practitioners,” said Hollis Taggart. “While this is an important and exciting expansion of our business, we see it as a complement to our ongoing work in presenting the depth and breadth of historic American art, especially within the Post-War era. We are delighted to bring both Paul and Jillian aboard to support the development and implementation of this vision and to work with the existing leadership team to find interesting synergies and connections between our exhibitions of historic and contemporary art.”

Efstathiou is a second-generation art dealer and independent curator, with 17 years of experience. From 2004 to 2016, he ran PTE Fine Arts, an arts consultancy and showroom, in partnership with his brother, Eric Efstathiou. In 2016, he established the exhibition series Highlight Curated, as a means of bringing new attention to and advancing the careers of contemporary artists. Efstathiou has produced five Highlight Curated exhibitions to-date, including three with Hollis Taggart, and featured the work of more than 20 artists, including Ted Gahl, Matt Mignanelli, Margaux Ogden, Matt Phillips, and Devin Troy Strother. In spring 2019, Efstathiou worked with Hollis Taggart to develop a solo presentation of work by Los Angeles-based artist John Knuth.

In his new role as Director of Contemporary Art, Efstathiou will be responsible for bringing new artists into Hollis Taggart’s program, developing exhibitions of contemporary work, and expanding the gallery’s fair presence. As part of Hollis Taggart’s evolving vision for its contemporary program, it will close its Project Space at the High Line Nine and instead explore opportunities for pop-up exhibitions throughout the city and in locations outside of New York. Presentations of contemporary artists will be intermixed with those of historic work at its primary space in Chelsea as well as at future pop-ups. Efstathiou is currently developing Hollis Taggart’s presentation for Untitled in Miami in December 2019.

Russo is a curator and art historian, focusing on modern and Post-War American art. From 2013-2018, she served as Curator at the Art Students League of New York, where she organized a wide range of exhibitions, including Six Degrees of Peggy Bacon (2013), in collaboration with the Archives of American Art Smithsonian; Making/Breaking Traditions: Teachers of Ai Weiwei (2014); Artistic Vanguard: The 1960s at the Art Students League (2017), in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s music festival, The ‘60s: The Years that Changed America; and The Masters: Art Students League Teachers and their Students (2018), among others. She also served as Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of the City of New York (2009-2011) and as a Research Associate at Hollis Taggart (2007-2008). Russo holds a Ph.D. in American Art from The Graduate Center, CUNY (2011).

In her new role as Director of Exhibitions at Hollis Taggart, Russo is responsible for the development and execution of exhibitions across the gallery’s artist roster, researching and writing catalogue copy, and expanding the gallery’s relationships with museums, institutions, and other non-profit organizations. She is currently working with gallery leadership on an exhibition that will explore the work of contemporary women painters engaged with the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, slated to open in 2020. In addition to her work at Hollis Taggart, she is currently developing the exhibition, The Lure of Cuba: Reginald Marsh's Tropical Watercolors 1924-1930 for the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut, which will open in August 2019.

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