Prem Krishnamurthy Papers
Scope and Contents
The Prem Krishnamurthy Papers are comprised of the collected personal archives of Prem Krishnamurthy, the business archives of the design firm Project Projects, and the gallery records of P!.
Series I: Press contains copies of press clippings and full publications containing press referencing work by Prem Krishnamurthy, Project Projects, and P!.
Series II: Print Archive consists of copies and examples of print material produced or designed by Prem Krishnamurthy and Project Projects. This includes books and publications, design proofs, posters, advertising material, ephemera, stationary, identity design material, and blank books and paper samples.
Series III: Project Files contains files pertaining to design projects by Project Projects, including planning documents, notes and design documents. The series also contains the administrative files for the Project Projects studio, including correspondence, contracts and agreements. Series III also contains material relating to teaching positions held by Prem Krishnamurthy at various universities and institutions, as well as documentation of curatorial projects undertaken by Prem Krishnamurthy. The series also consists of all documentation and planning material related to P!, including exhibition ephemera.
III.A Project Files Visual Material subseries contains photographs and negatives for selected design and curatorial projects by Project Projects and Prem Krishnamurthy.
Series IV: Ephemera consists of material collected by Prem Krishnamurthy, as design inspiration, a personal record of exhibitions and events attended, and curatorial inspiration. This series contains ephemera documenting exhibitions, art fairs, and programming attended by Prem Krishnamurthy, as well as collected posters, business cards, typography samples, advertising materials, packaging, souvenirs and artist publications.
Series V: Media contains storage media (External hard drive, CDs, DVDs, floppy disk, mini DV tapes) assembled by Project Projects as digital archival storage, and collected by Prem Krishnamurthy as documentation of artist work.
Series VI: Library contains publications from Prem Krishnamurthy’s personal library, as well as the reference library on display at the Project Projects studio. Some publications have been separated to CCS Special Collections, and are listed on a separated materials document.
- Majority of material found within 2001-2018
- Krishnamurthy, Prem, 1977- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to researchers without restrictions. Appointments are necessary to consult manuscript and archival materials. Access copies for media materials may not be available yet. Please contact the CCS Archivist for further details.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection use is subject to all copyright laws. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of the Library and Archives at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Biographical / Historical
Prem Krishnamurthy (born 1977) is a designer, curator, writer and teacher. Krishnamurthy’s wide spanning practice examines exhibition and presentation strategies through a multitude of formats, including, but not limited to, graphic design and branding; publication design; exhibition design; artmaking and curatorial practice.
Krishnamurthy holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Yale College and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 1999. In the early 2000s, Krishnamurthy began his career as a graphic designer working independently for clients in Berlin and New York including O-R-G Inc. and "The New York Times Magazine." In 2004, Krishnamurthy founded Project Projects, a Manhattan-based graphic design studio and firm, with partner Adam Michaels. From 2010-2014, Rob Giampietro joined as a principal.
From its inception, Project Projects focused primarily on producing design work and providing consulting services for cultural institutions, including major museums, galleries, creative nonprofits, educational institutions and architecture firms. At the core of the firm’s practice was a fundamental concern and examination of the nature and purpose of an art publication object — as exhibition publications and ephemera, documentation, or, crucially, as an artwork in itself. While always engaged with digital identity design, Project Projects was an eminent proponent of printed media at the height of the digital age— key actors in the art publishing renaissance of the 2010s.
Project Projects operated as a graphic design firm from 2004–2017, and forged long-term relationships with clients including the Museum of Modern Art, Creative Time, American Academy of Poets, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, SALT Istanbul, Whitney Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, as well as numerous other commercial and nonprofit galleries and arts organizations, architecture and design firms and consumer brands. Project Projects also worked closely with artists including Amie Siegel, Barbara Bloom, Katharina Grosse, Judith Barry, Mika Rottenberg, Omer Fast, Stephen Prina, and Walid Raad In 2015, Project Projects was the recipient of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communications Design.
In 2012, Krishnamurthy founded P!, a commercial gallery and exhibition space on New York City’s Lower East Side. From the original gallery mission statement, “P! proposes an experimental space of display in which the radical possibilities of disparate disciplines, historical periods, and modes of production rub elbows.” Erected with the support of architects Leong Leong in a former HVAC contracting office on Broome Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, P! was concerned with issues of exhibition display and exhibition histories, as well as multidisciplinary collaboration. Exhibitions sought to present the financial and economic underpinnings of the work presented in the space. On multiple occasions, Krishnamurthy referred to P! As a “Mom and Pop Kunsthalle,” gesturing to programmatic commitments to the exhibition of unique works and projects by “polymathic practitioners” of art, design, architecture, music and writing, on a small scale.
P! operated from 2012-2017, with programming that followed a narrative arc, and included several “micro epochs,” including the transition of the branding of the gallery from P! to K. for a series of exhibitions in 2015. The gallery’s architecture was similarly transitional, with regular drastic interventions from artists and collaborators.
Additionally, P! hosted extensive public programs including lectures, discussions, and participated in art fairs including NADA, NADA Miami Beach, and Frieze.
Krishnamurthy’s decision to end P!’s programming was reflective of a natural end to the economic and narrative life cycle of the gallery. Primary artists and designers exhibited at P! included Brian O’Doherty, Céline Condorelli, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Karel Martens, Mathew Hale, Maryam Jafri, and Wong Kit Yi.
In addition to his work with Project Projects and P!, Krishnamurthy is also a prolific curator, writer and teacher. He has held teaching positions at Barnard College at Columbia University; California College of the Arts; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Central Saint Martins; Maryland Institute College of Art; Rhode Island School of Design; Parsons The New School for Design; Princeton University; Royal College of Art, London; and University of Connecticut Storrs, among other institutions.
Since 2008, Krishnamurthy has organized numerous exhibitions and programs as an independent curator, including the FRONT International 2022 triennial, titled “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows;" "Our Silver City, 2094," at Nottingham Contemporary; “The 13th A.I.R. Biennial: let’s try listening again,” New York (2019); “Fikra Graphic Design Biennial 01: Ministry of Graphic Design,” Sharjah, UAE (2018); “Masterpieces and Curiosities: Elaine Lustig Cohen,” Jewish Museum, New York (2018); “P!CKER,” Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London (2017–2018); “Creative & Operational Solutions,” Para Site, Hong Kong (2016); and “DIS-PLAY / RE-PLAY,” Austrian Cultural Forum, New York (2016).
As a writer, Krishnamurthy authored the book "On Letters," published by Domain Books in 2022, and the experimental electronic book "P!DF", published by O-R-G from 2017 onwards, as well as essays in books including "John Heartfield: Photography Plus Dynamite" (Hirmer, 2020); "Curating After the Global" (MIT, 2019); "One/Here/Now: The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project" (Sirius Arts Centre, 2019); "The Dispatch: Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018" (Carnegie Museum of Art, 2018); "As Seen: Exhibitions that Made Architecture and Design History" (Art Institute of Chicago, 2017); "The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space" (CCA Wattis, 2013); and "I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette" (Paper Monument, 2009). He has co-edited books such as "The Death of the Artist" (Cabinet, 2018); "Speculation, Now" (Duke, 2015); "Amie Siegel: Catalogue" (Inventory Press, 2014); "Draw It With Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment" (n+1, 2012); and "MATRIX / Berkeley: A Changing Exhibition of Contemporary Art" (University of California, 2009).
44 Linear Feet (In 71 boxes and 1 binder)
Language of Materials
The Prem Krishnamurthy Papers is comprised of six series:
Series I: Press
Series II: Print Archive
Series III: Project Files
Series IV: Ephemera
Series V: Media
Series VI: Library
See individual arrangement notes by subseries throughout the finding aid.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Prem Krishnamurthy Papers were acquired in 2019 from Prem Krishnamurthy.
- Administrative records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Advertising layout and typography Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Art -- 21st Century -- Exhibitions Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Art -- Periodicals. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Art in General, Inc.
- Art publishing Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Artistic collaboration Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Bard College. Center for Curatorial Studies
- Biennials (Art fairs) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Bloom, Barbara 1951-
- CD-ROMs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Color transparencies Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Columbia University. Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
- Conceptual art -- Exhibitions Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Condorelli, Céline
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Creative Time, Inc.
- Curatorship Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- D'Amelio Terras (Gallery)
- Designs (artistic concepts) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Designs--Computer aided Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Exhibit design Subject Source: Local sources
- Exhibition catalogs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Fast, Omer, 1972-
- Frieze Art Fair (London, England)
- Frieze Art Fair (New York, N.Y.)
- Giampietro, Rob, 1978-
- Graphic arts Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Graphic design (Typography) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Harvard University. Graduate School of Design
- Hill, Christine, 1968-
- Jafri, Maryam, 1972-
- Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)
- Just, Jesper, 1974-
- Letters (correspondence) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Magazines (periodicals). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Martens, Karel
- Memorabilia Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
- Michaels, Adam, 1978-
- Multiples Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
- New Art Dealers Alliance
- Notes Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- P! (Gallery)
- Paper Monument (Organization)
- Parsons the New School for Design
- Periodicals Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Posters Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Project Projects
- Promotional materials Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Publishers and publishing Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Reviews (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Rhode Island School of Design. Museum of Art
- Rottenberg, Mika 1976-
- SALT (Organization)
- School of Visual Arts (New York, N.Y.)
- Steven Holl Architects
- Triple Canopy (Firm)
- University of Connecticut
- Vera List Center for Art and Politics
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- Wittkugel, Klaus, 1910-1985
- Wong Kit Ki (Wong, Ali)
- Wu, Chris
- Yale University. Gallery of Fine Arts
- Guide to the Prem Krishnamurthy Papers
- Hannah Mandel; Collection processed by Hannah Mandel
- October 2022
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script