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Biennale of Sydney Announces Joint Artistic Directors for 2012: Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster
Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have recently collaborated at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
SYDNEY.- The Biennale of Sydney has today announced the appointment of Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster as Joint Artistic Directors of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, which will be held from Wednesday, 27 June – Sunday, 16 September 2012.

‘We are delighted that Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have accepted our invitation to become Joint Artistic Directors of the 18th Biennale of Sydney,’ says Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer. ‘For the first time, the Biennale has appointed a curatorial duo to direct the exhibition and program. Both de Zegher and McMaster are dynamic and respected figures in their fields and have previously worked together to great acclaim. This promises to be an innovative collaboration and we look forward to building on the success of previous biennales to present an exciting and multi-faceted 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012.’

Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have recently collaborated at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada, where they participated in the re-installation of the Gallery’s collection in the renovated museum building by Frank Gehry. De Zegher led the reinstallation of the European galleries and McMaster led the reinstallation of the Canadian wing. They have also worked together on the exhibition Draw & Tell: Lines of Transformation by Norval Morrisseau/Copper Thunderbird (2001) at The Drawing Center in New York.

Catherine de Zegher is a curator and writer, and is currently Guest Curator, Department of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Visiting Curator, Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona. Until recently, de Zegher was Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. For many years, she was the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center, New York (1999–2006) and co-founder and Director of the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium (1987–98).

De Zegher is the curator of widely acclaimed exhibitions, including America: Bride of the Sun. 500 Years of Latin America and the Low Countries (1992) at the Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp and Inside the Visible. An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine (1994–96) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. She has curated several award-winning exhibitions including Eva Hesse Drawing (2006), which received the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Award for excellence and 3 x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing by Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, and Agnes Martin (2005), which received the Best Show AICA (International Association of Art Critics) Award 2005. In 1997, de Zegher was the Belgian Commissioner to the XLVII Biennial of Venice.

Gerald McMaster is a curator and writer, and since 2005 has been the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. He was also a member of the curatorial team for this year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, McMaster was the Director’s Special Assistant for Mall Exhibitions and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources from 2000–04. McMaster was also Curator, Canadian Museum of Civilization (1981–2000).

McMaster was the Canadian Commissioner to the XLVI Venice Biennale (1995) and has curated many renowned exhibitions, including In the Shadow of the Sun (1988), Indigena (1992), Edward Poitras XLVI Biennale di Venezia (1995) and Reservation X (1998). While with the Smithsonian he co-edited and co-curated First American Art: The Collection of Charles and Valerie Diker (2004), edited and curated New Tribe: New York (2005–06) and co-curated Remix: Multiple Modernities in a Post-Indian World (2007).

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, Chairman, says: ‘De Zegher and McMaster will break ground for the Biennale of Sydney by being the first Joint Artistic Directors in our history. The Board has been inspired by their curatorial concept which, we believe, will also create a new direction for the exhibition. We welcome the distinguished duo to Sydney and to the challenge of the next Biennale, after having recently achieved record visitation (517,000) in 2010.’

Catherine de Zegher says: ‘With large shifts happening on a global scale, from West to East and North to South, I think Sydney and its Biennale are best positioned to epitomise the transition of divisive modernist structures and systems into the fluent dynamics of a 21st-century thinking that is connective and interdependent, and to showcase an art that shapes and corresponds to these recent processes of changing awareness. As Australia is on the verge of taking a central stage in outlining a new worldview for the future, I am extremely happy and honoured to be collaborating in Sydney with artists from here and around the globe!’

Gerald McMaster says: ‘I’ve been coming to Australia for several years and each time it’s a different experience. A short while ago I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit artists and curators in virtually every Australian city, from which I gleaned Australia’s zeitgeist – it’s a macrocosm of history, spirit and a willingness to reach out to the world. I also saw many similarities with my own country of birth – Canada. But it was the chance, given by the Biennale to Catherine and me, to work with artists from around the world and across Australia that finally attracted me, for which I am eternally grateful.’

The Biennale of Sydney | Catherine de Zegher | Marah Braye |


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Biennale of Sydney Announces Joint Artistic Directors for 2012: Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster



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