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Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art announces new Head of Australian Art
Jason brings more than 20 years’ experience and leadership in art museums and contemporary art to this key role. Photo: Matthew Wren.

BRISBANE.- Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Director Chris Saines announced the appointment of the Gallery’s new Curatorial Manager of Australian Art, Jason Smith, and the departure later this year of curatorial managers Kathryn Weir and Russell Storer, to accept prestigious international positions in Europe and Asia.

Mr Saines said Jason Smith, Director and CEO of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria since 2008, would commence as Curatorial Manager of Australian Art in November.

‘Jason brings more than 20 years’ experience and leadership in art museums and contemporary art to this key role in which he will lead QAGOMA’s Australian art programming and collection development,’ Mr Saines said.

‘This appointment reaffirms our position at the forefront of Australian contemporary art practice and our determination to be the leading institution for the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific,’ Mr Saines said.

Jason was Director at Melbourne’s Monash Art Gallery from 2007 to 2008, prior to his appointment at Heide, an institution with a unique and storied position in Australian art history. He held various curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Victoria between 1993 and 2007, including ten years as Curator of Contemporary Art.

Jason has curated important exhibitions of leading Australian and international artists, including Stephen Benwell, Louise Bourgeois, Kathy Temin, Howard Arkley, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, William Kentridge and Peter Booth, as well as the important multi-artist exhibitions ‘2004 Australian Culture Now’ and ‘Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968–2002’ at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Jason moves in to the position recently vacated by Julie Ewington following her retirement after 18 years with the Gallery.

Mr Saines also congratulated Kathryn Weir, Curatorial Manager, International Art and Australian Cinémathèque on her appointment as Director of the Department of Cultural Development, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Russell Storer, Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific Art, who will take up the role of Senior Curator at the new National Gallery Singapore, which will open in November 2015.

‘I want to warmly congratulate Kathryn and Russell on obtaining these exceptional appointments and thank them for their substantial contributions to both this Gallery and the broader visual arts landscape in Australia,’ Mr Saines said.

‘It is a testament to QAGOMA’s international reputation that two of its most experienced curators can secure such senior positions within world-leading institutions. Kathryn and Russell will be greatly missed but we are immensely proud of their achievements and look forward to continuing our relationship with them through their exciting new roles.’

Kathryn will lead the Department of Cultural Development, which drives interdisciplinary projects across the world renowned Pompidou Centre, home of the Musée national d’art moderne.

Kathryn joined the Gallery in 2003. She was instrumental in establishing QAGOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque and was part of the curatorial team for the fifth, sixth and seventh Asia Pacific Triennials of Contemporary Art (APT). Kathryn curated and contributed to exhibitions including, ‘Sculpture is Everything’, ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’, ‘Andy Warhol’, ‘Kiss of the Beast’ and ‘Modern Ruin’, She also curated cinema programs including ‘Breathless: French New Wave turns 50’ and numerous programs for the cinema component of the APT, including 'Hong Kong, Shanghai: Cinema Cities' and major retrospectives of Iranian and Chinese animation. Kathryn is the curator of ‘Sublime: Contemporary works from the Collection’, which opens at QAG on 30 August, and ‘Tracey Moffatt: Spirited’, opening at GOMA on 25 October.

The new National Gallery Singapore, due to open in November 2015, will have a focus on the art of Southeast Asia and Singapore, an area of specialty for Russell Storer, who co-curated the 3rd Singapore Biennale in 2011.

Russell joined QAGOMA in 2008 and has been head of the Gallery’s renowned Asia Pacific curatorial department since 2010. He was an integral part of the curatorial team for APT6 and APT7, and also contributed to ‘The China Project’. In 2013, he curated the summer exhibition ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’, one of the most ambitious and successful solo contemporary art exhibitions ever staged in Australia.

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