Although she was appointed the museum’s chief curator only a little over a year ago, Chus Martínez is leaving New York’s El Museo del Barrio, effective Jan. 31, 2014. A statement from the museum’s press office cited “a professional opportunity that she couldn’t pass up” as the reason for her abrupt departure. Her next post has not been announced.
Prior to joining El Museo, Martínez was head of the department of artistic direction for last year’s edition of Documenta in Kassel, Germany, under director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. Martínez had previously served as head curator of MACBA, the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona, and director of Germany’s Frankfurter Kunstverein. She was also part of the curatorial teams for the 2010 Bienal de São Paulo and the 2008 SITE Santa Fe International Biennial.
New York-based art advisor Ana Sokoloff, a specialist in Latin American art, commented on the news in a phone call with A.i.A., saying, “I’m sorry that we’re losing someone as important to the Latino community as Chus. We could have benefitted from her input at the museum.”
Director Margarita Aguilar left the museum in February, leading to allegations of gender discrimination. The suit was later dismissed, though Aguilar has announced that she will appeal.