Jonny Auping| Longreads | February 2017 | 15 minutes (4,011 words)

Michael Auping recently retired after 25 years as the chief curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. His 40-year curatorial career, which focused on the international development of postwar art, has resulted in numerous, critically-acclaimed exhibitions featuring many of the 20th century’s most prominent visual artists.

Before becoming a curator, Auping spent his post-graduate years in mid-70s Southern California trying to figure out how to break into the art world. Around 1975, he came across the book Workingby Studs Terkel, in which the author interviews various working people — from parking valets and cab drivers to gravediggers and pharmacists — about the meaning they find in their jobs. Auping began going to the studios of Los Angeles-based artists like Robert Irwin, Tony Delap, and Craig Kauffman to record conversations about their…

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