Renny Pritikin

Renny Pritikin profile image

Renny Pritikin has been the director of New Langton Arts, the chief curator of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the director of the Nelson Gallery and Fine Arts Collection at UC Davis, and is currently the chief curator at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Pritikin gave early support to the careers of such artists as Nancy Rubins, Nayland Blake, Fred Tomaselli, Tim Hawkinson, and many others and is known for working with figures from outside the fine arts in the museum context. This includes Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, the auto customizer; Syd Mead the visual futurist and "Blade Runner" designer; Don Ed Hardy, the tattoo master; and Ricky Jay, the master sleight-of-hand artist, cultural historian, and collector.

Pritikin recently has written catalog essays for painter Cornelia Schulz (Pat Sweetow Gallery); multimedia artist Julia Couzens (Cal State Stanislaus); sculptor Tony May (retrospective at San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art); painter John Bankston (beta pictoris Gallery, Birmingham, and reprinted in Art Paper, Atlanta; visual artists Jim Melchert and Nancy Genn, (Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California); sculptor Dean De Cocker (Jay Jay Gallery, Sacramento CA); painter Joe Draegart (Erickson Fine Art, Healdsburg, CA); and an essay in the book Trimpin: Contraptions for Art and Sound (Marquand Books/University of Washington Press, 2011); and Jessamyn Lovell (SF Camerawork) and Mary Elizabeth O'Connor (Suyama Gallery, Seattle) forthcoming in 2014.

Pritikin has been a regular contributor to the online critical journal Art Practical, and such other publications as Proximity, the Chicago-based art magazine, and a 2013 piece in Huck, a London magazine.

In 2013-14 he curated exhibitions at the Kondos Gallery, City College of Sacramento; di Rosa, Napa CA; and PHOTO, Chandra Cerrito Gallery, and Pro Arts, Oakland, Calfornia.

He has lectured in Japanese museums as a guest of the USIA; toured Israel as a Koret Israel Prize Fellow; was the curator chosen to represent the United States at the Cuenca (Ecuador) Bienal; and lectured in three cities in New Zealand as a Fulbright Fellow.

In addition to teaching at CCA, Pritikin has taught art administration and artist professional skills training at California State University, San Francisco, and Golden Gate University.

He has authored four books of poetry, most recently A Quiet in Front of the Best Western (Museum Quality Press, 2014).


BA, New School for Social Research; MA, San Francisco State University