Renny Pritikin

Renny Pritikin has held three positions in arts organizations in Northern California over the past thirty years. For more than a decade he was director of New Langton Arts in San Francisco, an alternative space that specialized in new and experimental work in visual art, performance, new music, and literature. Following that, again for more than a decade, he was chief curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. At the current time he is director and curator of the Nelson Gallery and Fine Art Collection at the University of California, Davis. Career highlights include a lecture tour to museums throughout Japan as a guest of the State Department, and an official visit to Israel as a Koret Fellow, both in 1995. In 2001 he was the curator of the United States participation in the Cuenca Bienal, in Ecuador. In 2003, as a Fulbright Fellow, he gave a lecture tour to museums throughout New Zealand. Pritikin holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the California State University, San Francisco. He has published three books of poetry, most recently in 2007 from POD Press in San Francisco, and published dozens of catalogue essays, both in the United States and in Japan, and Germany. He is a senior adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts’ curatorial studies graduate program since 2001. Pritikin is often identified with movements to bring aspects of popular culture into the fine arts arena, having curated projects by such artists as Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (car customizer); George Lucas (The Art of Star Wars); Don Ed Hardy (tattoo); Syd Mead (designer of Blade Runner); and Ricky Jay (magician and scholar). He also curated early exhibitions by such artists as Nancy Rubins, Fred Tomaselli, Barry McGee, Chris Johanson and Margaret Kilgallen, and brought the work of such artists as Tim Hawkinson, Tom Friedman, Doris Salcedo, and many others to the Bay Area for the first time.

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