Our Mission

    SculptureCenter leads the conversation on contemporary art by supporting artistic innovation and independent thought highlighting sculpture's specific potential to change the way we engage with the world. Positioning artists' work in larger cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts, SculptureCenter discerns and interprets emerging ideas. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter provides an international forum that connects artists and audiences by presenting exhibitions, commissioning new work, and generating scholarship.

    Core Values


    We deploy significant institutional resources - from research and technical expertise to funding and sustained curatorial dialogue - to support artists before, during, and after their exhibitions.


    We recognize that diversity enriches cultural dialogue and is essential to innovation. We regularly work across borders and generations and seek to reflect and embrace multiple viewpoints in programming, hiring, visitor relations, and facility planning.


    We operate independently of market interests and, to the extent possible, fund production and exhibition costs through fundraising. The artists we showcase are represented by a diverse group of galleries and often by no gallery at all.


    We are transparent in our interactions with artists, audiences, donors, and other constituents. We share information internally and externally regarding our programs, financials, and other metrics while fostering a culture of openness.


    In programming and in governance, we are rigorous in our pursuit of new ideas. Our exhibitions, public programming, and scholarship are thoughtful, well researched, and precise in their scope. Our governance and operations are disciplined and efficient.

    Our Programs

    SculptureCenter’s programs explore and reflect the current concerns of and around contemporary sculpture. Taking the history and legacy of sculpture as our foundation, we consider the ways that artists are thinking about three-dimensional work. In supporting new ideas and artistic research, SculptureCenter identifies the most compelling practices and experiments that relate to the history of sculpture.

    SculptureCenter introduces emerging artists, commissions work of the highest quality in New York, and provides direct support to the artists for the creation of new work, including production funds, curatorial support, and honoraria. To facilitate deep public engagement and encourage dialogue between visitors of all ages, artists, and their work, SculptureCenter hosts free events and programs that complement our exhibitions, including lectures, panel discussions with leaders in the field of contemporary art and other related fields, readings, workshops, video screenings, and performances.

    In fiscal year 2020, SculptureCenter presented 4 critically acclaimed exhibitions, showcasing 31 artists. Exhibitions included: Searching the Sky for Rain, a large-scale group exhibition including newly-commissioned and recent work by 16 emerging and established artists, which considered the politics of identity, visibility, and invisibility; École du soir (The Evening Academy), an exhibition and research group convened by artist Christian Nyampeta in SculptureCenter's courtyard and lobby that studied the work of Rwandan philosopher Isaïe Nzeyimana, who visited in October 2019; Rafael Domenech: Model to exhaust this place (SculptureCenter Pavilion), a major architectural installation on SculptureCenter's ground floor and the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in New York; and In Practice: Total Disbelief, featuring new commissions by 13 emerging artists and artist teams as part of our annual open call program, for which we receive over 1,000 proposals. In addition, SculptureCenter toured Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit, our groundbreaking first museum retrospective of the artist's work from the 1980s through the early 2000s, to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California.

    SculptureCenter's diverse programming expands upon our mission and enriches the discourse between our artists and audiences. SculptureCenter continued its publications program with 4 exhibition catalogs, as well as 9 free, in-person public programs (including scholarly presentations, panel discussions, screenings, concerts, and artmaking workshops) before our mandatory closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through spring and summer 2020, we hosted 2 online programs and regularly published writing and materials related to our exhibitions in our newsletter and on our website. In addition to giving further voice to exhibiting artists and SculptureCenter's curatorial department, these programs engaged a dozen other artists, writers, and scholars, and included partnerships with the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, New York non-profit E-flux, and others.