Today Christine Macel, the chief curator of Paris’s Centre Pompidou, was named artistic director of the 2017 Venice Biennale, which is set to run May 13 through November 26, 2017.
The Biennale’s president, Paolo Baratta, said in a statement, “In the wake of the Biennale Arte directed by Okwui Enwezor, centred on the theme of the rifts and divisions that pervade the world, and aware that we are currently living in an age of anxiety, La Biennale has selected Christine Macel as a curator committed to emphasizing the important role artists play in inventing their own universes and injecting generous vitality into the world we live in.”
Macel, who will be only the fourth woman to direct the Biennale, has been with the Pompidou since 2000, where she founded the department of création contemporaine et prospective, as well as Espace 315, a space at the museum specializing in the work of young artists from around the world. She has a long history with the Biennale, having organized the French Pavilion there in 2013, showing artist Anri Sala, and the Belgian Pavilion in 2007, offering up artist Eric Duyckaerts.
At the Pompidou, Macel has organized numerous solo shows by artists including Philippe Parreno, Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, and Sala. This year she will present “Dear Friends, donations of the last 5 years,” a one-person outing by Melik Ohanian.
The last French curator to organize the Biennale was Jean Clair, who helmed the 1995 edition. Previous directors include Enwezor (2015), Massimiliano Gioni (2013), Bice Curiger (2011), Daniel Birnbaum (2009), and Robert Storr (2007).
The middle of 2017 is shaping up to be a busy time on the art calendar in Europe, with the quinquennial Documenta 14 opening to the public in Kassel, Germany, on June 10 (the section in Athens will be inaugurated April 8), the every-ten-years Skulptur Projekte Muenster starting that same day in Muenster, Germany, and Art Basel alighting five days later in Basel, Switzerland.