Board of Directors

Phong Bui

Phong Bui is an artist, writer, independent curator, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail, a free monthly journal of arts, culture, and politics. He is also the publisher of Rail Editions, and has organized more than fifty exhibitions since 2000. In 2014, Bui was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” by Brooklyn Magazine, and in 2015, the New York Observer dubbed him a “ringmaster” of the Kings County art world. Bui is a board member of the Brooklyn Rail, Miami Rail, Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, and International Association of Art Critics United States Section. He lives with his wife, painter Nathlie Provosty, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Bui is a Board Member of the International Association of Art Critics, Anthology Film Archives, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Miami Rail, Second Shift Studio Space St. Paul, Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Studio in a School, and ThirdRail, Minneapolis, among others.

Eugene Lemay

A self-taught artist who has exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel, Eugene Lemay is best known for his photographic series Navigator, which uses written language as a metaphor for the human need to communicate. The ninth of fifteen children born to a French-Canadian father and Lebanese-Syrian mother in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1960, Lemay fought in the First Lebanese War of 1982, and the traumatic memory of a battle at the Beaufort Crusader Castle continues to inform both his artistic practice and his commitment to human rights activism. Lemay is Founder and President of Mana Contemporary and Founder of the Middle East Center for the Arts (MECA). He also sits on the board of the Umm el-Fahem Gallery in Israel.

Gary Krat
Gary Krat

A graduate of the School of Law at Fordham University, Gary Krat began his career as an attorney at Proskauer in New York. A few years later he joined financial services company Integrated Resources, Inc., and spent 13 years on the marketing, structuring, and acquisition of several hundred real estate, equipment leasing, cable TV, and other operating company transactions. Krat also built and led the largest financial planning broker dealer in the US at that time. When in 1990 Integrated was acquired by Eli Broad and SunAmerica Inc., Krat moved with the enterprise, eventually occupying the positions of chairman, CEO, and president for various SunAmerica companies. In 1999, following the acquisition of SunAmerica Inc. by American International Group, Inc., he began working directly with AIG’s chairman, traveling in Europe and the Far East to create SunAmerica core businesses there on behalf of AIG before eventually becoming a Senior Consultant to AIG. Upon leaving AIG, Krat formed a series of companies which, to this day, have engaged in hundreds of real estate, art and storage company purchases and lending and investing transactions.

Judd Grossman

Judd Grossman is Founder and Managing Partner of Grossman LLP. His clients include art galleries and advisors, institutions, businesses, and high-net-worth individuals. Grossman advises on a wide variety of legal matters including art-related disputes, commercial cases, and securities litigation. He has successfully represented buyers seeking to recover the purchase price of stolen Jasper Johns artworks, and litigated a forgery case against the Knoedler Gallery arising from the multimillion-dollar sale of a counterfeit Jackson Pollock painting. Judd is on the board of Lincoln Center Education, and previously served on the board of directors of Urban Arts Partnership. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Meredith, an attending physician in the Pediatrics Department of Mount Sinai Hospital, and their two daughters. Grossman is currently a board member of the Lincoln Center and the Urban Arts Fellowship.

Birte Kleemann

Birte Kleeman is a director of Michael Werner Gallery, New York, and Art Editor of King Kong magazine. Previously, she was a director and curator at Pace Gallery, New York, and Galerie EIGEN+ART, Berlin. Her recently curated exhibitions include Pat O’Neill: Sweep/Broken Sweep; Jörg Immendorff: LIDL Works and Performances from the ’60s; and Shakers&Movers (all at VW-VeneKlasen/Werner, Berlin); Joseph Beuys: Make the Secrets Productive at Pace Gallery, New York, and PRAXIS at Wayne State University, Detroit.

Shirin Neshat

Born in Qazin, Iran, artist Shrin Neshat left to study at the University of California at Berkeley before the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Moving from her overtly political early photographs to more abstract film and video works such as Rapture (1999), which explores the relationship between women and the value systems of Islam, the New York-based artist has consistently focused on themes of gender and identity. Her Women of Allah series of the mid-1990s, for example, looks at the discrepancies of public and private identities in Iranian and Western cultures, while her video Turbulent (1998) won her the First International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Her works are included in the collections of the Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among others.

Mashonda Tifrere

New York-based Mashonda Tifrere is an artist, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist devoted to battling sexism in the creative industries. Fascinated by art and music since childhood, Tifrere has gone on to collaborate with Jay-Z, DMX, and Eve. After graduating from Christie’s Education in New York, she partnered with Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD and Gucci’s Chime for Change organizations, and in 2016 launched ArtLeadHER to support female artists. Tifrere sits on the board of directors of The Nurtured Parent, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights, safety, health, and well-being of women and children in the United States. She is the author of Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family.

Clark Winter

As a photographer, Clark Winter attempts to make visible the levels of perception that accompany the passage of time, investigating how our experiences affect our ability to see clearly. He has applied similar observations to his role as a global investment strategist. Winter serves as chairman of the Investment Advisory Board at Grupo Bursátil Mexicano, chairman emeritus of both Queen Sophia Spanish Institute and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and on the advisory boards of TPH Asset Management in Houston, and American Friends of the British Museum in London. Clark also serves on the boards of the Andrea Frank Foundation, the Committee on Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Belfer Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Ysabel Pinyol Blasi

Former curatorial director at Mana Contemporary (Miami, Jersey City, and Chicago) and co-founder of Mana Residencies. Originally from Barcelona, she earned a Master of Architecture from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona in 2006. Blasi began collecting art more than twenty years ago and from 2007 to 2011 directed a gallery in Barcelona that represented international emerging artists. Her publications include The Bull and the Donkey (Barcelona, Spain: Galeria Ysabel Pinyol, 2008); Trivium, (Miami, FL: Mana Wynwood, 2016); and “Alt-Art Spaces and the Question of Identity Refusal,” Brooklyn Rail, 2017. Ysabel Pinyol Blasi continues to curate diverse and ground breaking exhibitions through the Monira Foundation as Chief Curator.

Advisory Board

Shoja Azari

New York-based artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari was born in Shiraz, Iran. He trained in New York in the 1970s before returning to Iran for the Revolution in 1979, relocat- ing permanently to the United States in 1997. In videos, films, photographs, and hybrid paintings-cum-videos, Azari explores the culture, history, and politics of his native country, confronting problems around gender, piety, violence, and Orientalism. Azari’s films include K (2002) and Windows (2006); he has also worked extensively with artist Shirin Neshat on films such as Women Without Men, a prizewinner at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Azari’s New York debut exhibition in New York took place at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery in 2010. 

Aleksandar Duravcevic

Montenegro-born Aleksandar Duravcevic is an artist based in New York. In sculp- tures, installations, and drawings, he focuses on cultural, historical, and existential oppositions, drawing on his experience of immigration to the United States follow- ing the breakup of Yugoslavia. Using diagrams and drawings of human and animal anatomy, he establishes a unique allegorical dialogue around dissection and recording. Duravcevic has exhibited internationally at venus including the Uffizi in Florence and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and represented Montenegro at the Venice Biennale in 2015.