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Omar Kholeif Named Senior Curator at MCA Chicago


Omar Kholeif.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago shared news today that it has hired Omar Kholeif, a curator at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, as its new Manilow Senior Curator.

Kholeif’s curatorial credits at Whitechapel include “Fiona Banner: Stamp out Photographie,” “James Richards: To Replace a Minute’s Silence with a Minute’s Applause,” and “Emily Jacir: Europa.” This year he was also responsible for Cyprus’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale and the Armory Show’s Focus section.

The Chicago Tribute asked Kholeif why he decided to take the job. His answer:

I have always been captivated by Chicago’s history. It really is the great American city, a seat of industrialization; I have been fascinated by its topography, its status as a port, its architecture which has served as a blueprint for American cities. But of course, also, its radical social and political histories, its artistic community, which I have long admired from afar, and the incredible commitment that the city has shown in the realm of culture, which is made manifest through its diverse institutions. Within this spectrum of influences is the MCA, which I truly see as a beacon not only for art but for culture in all of its forms. When Michael (Darling, chief curator) and Madeleine (Grynsztejn, director) introduced me to the museum’s mission, I was immediately sold. I can’t wait to get started now.

He starts at the museum on November 23.

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