Nigel Hurst will depart his position as the director and CEO of London’s Saatchi Gallery to become the head of contemporary arts at the British organization the Box, Plymouth. He is expected to join the Box’s team in early September, and he will oversee the new organization’s art-related programming for a scheduled opening Plymouth, England, in 2020.
At the Saatchi Gallery, Hurst helped bring the British museum to the attention of larger public. He joined the museum’s team in 1995 as a curator, and he helped organize such exhibitions as “Sensation,” a group show that focused on artists whose work sometimes engaged in provocation and shock, and which was subsequently denounced by U.S. politicians when it traveled to the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Other shows Hurst organized include “Champagne Life,” an all-female exhibition about art-world misogyny, and surveys of contemporary art in Korea, China, and the Middle East.
In a statement, Hurst said of his new appointment, “This role presents a wonderful opportunity to help build on Plymouth’s achievements to date in raising the profile of the city through this wonderful initiative, engaging new audiences, and developing the reputation of Plymouth as a cultural focal point, not only within the UK but also as an important cultural place-maker with a growing international presence. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Box, Plymouth is a new organization conceived to combine the collections of the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the South West Film and Television Archive, and the South West Image Bank. Slated to open during the city’s 400th anniversary, the Box—with a building budget of £37 million ($38.9 million)—is expected to be the biggest museum in South West England.