Helen Legg Named Director of Tate Liverpool

Helen Legg.


Helen Legg will leave her position as director of Spike Island in Bristol, England, to head up Tate Liverpool. She will start in her position as director there this summer, taking takes the reins from Francesco Manacorda, who left the museum to become artistic director of the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow last year.

Legg had been director of Spike Island since 2010. She oversaw a diverse program of exhibitions that included solo shows for Charlotte Prodger, Haroon Mirza, Cevdek Erek, Aurélien Froment, and, most notably, Lubaina Himid, who went on to receive a Turner Prize nomination for her outing at the institution. (Himid ended up winning the prize.) In her tenure there, Legg solidified Spike Island as one of the most important contemporary art venues in England. She is currently an external adviser to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee, a member of Arts Council England South West Area Council, and the chair of Visual Arts South West.

Prior to working at Spike Island, Legg had been curator at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, where she helped develop the institution’s second space, Ikon Eastside. That venue opened in 2006 in a Victorian former chapel and switched locations shortly after inaugurating its space. Legg was also a judge for the Turner Prize in 2014, a member of the selection committee for the British Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and a judge for the 2017 Jerwood Drawing Prize.

In a statement, Maria Balshaw, the director of Tate, said, “As the gallery enters its fourth decade, Helen will lead the institution into a new era. Her impressive track record at Spike Island and at Ikon mean she brings a wealth of expertise to the role. Her curatorial achievements and her experience of developing crucial networks and partnerships will help us attract the audiences of the future to Tate Liverpool.”

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