Joan Simon is an independent curator, writer, and arts administrator based in Paris. As curator-at-large for the Whitney Museum of American Art (2004-2009), she organized Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (2008), with Brigitte Leal, in a partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris (seen there in 2009), and Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer (2009), the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of cinema’s first woman director and studio owner, whose careers in France and the U.S. spanned 1896 and 1920. Simon was a contributor to Gordon Matta-Clark: “You Are the Measure” (2007) and Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect (organized by the MCA Chicago and the Beyeler Foundation, which traveled to the Whitney 2010). She organized Sheila Hicks: Fifty Years (with Susan Faxon) for the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass. (2010), traveling in 2011 to the ICA, Philadelphia, and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina.
A former managing editor of Art in America (1974–83), Simon has published extensively on contemporary art for numerous journals, including Parkett and Art Press, and Art in America where she is a contributing editor. Among her books are Susan Rothenberg (1991), William Wegman: Funney-Strange (2006), and Ann Hamilton: An Inventory of Objects (2007), which was named one of the Outstanding Academic Books of the year by Choice Magazine, and honored by the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), as one of the year’s best “50 Books/50 Covers.” She has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues, including those devoted to Robert Gober, Sheila Hicks, Joan Jonas, Annette Messager, Bruce Nauman, Fred Sandback, Rosemarie Trockel, and served as general editor of the exhibition catalogue and catalogue raisonné Bruce Nauman (1994).