Alex Farquharson appointed as director of Tate Britain - Museums Association

Alex Farquharson appointed as director of Tate Britain

Executive director of Nottingham Contemporary will start new job in the autumn
Nicola Sullivan
Tate Britain has appointed Alex Farquharson as its new director. 

The executive director of Nottingham Contemporary will replace Penelope Curtis, who will be going to Portugal to head up the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

Farquharson, who will take up his role at Tate Britain in the autumn, launched Nottingham Contemporary in 2009 with an exhibition of David Hockney’s work from the 1960s. The gallery was founded by Farquharson and a board of trustees.

Before joining the gallery the 45-year-old worked as a curator and co-curated the British Art Show 6 at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. He also co-curated the exhibition Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions, shown recently at the Nottingham Contemporary and currently on display at Tate Liverpool.

Pablo Bronstein, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Jeremy Deller, Gary Hume and Gillian Wearing are among the artists Farquharson has worked with on solo exhibitions.

Nicholas Serota, the director of Tate, said that Farquharson had created a programme for Nottingham Contemporary that serves local and national audiences “working closely with artists and reflecting history as well as present”.

However, some commentators on social media noted that Farquharson’s appointment means that all the national galleries in the UK are headed by men.

Tweeters also referred to the difficulties experienced by Curtis during her time as the director of Tate Britain.

Curtis led the £45m redevelopment of Tate Britain, but was criticised in the national newspapers for some of the exhibitions she oversaw, including the Sculpture Victorious exhibition.

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