The Museo de Arte de Lima in Peru has appointed Bartomeu Marí, who helmed the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Republic of Korea from 2016 to 2018, as its next executive director. He takes up the post this month.
Marí said in a statement, “This opportunity represents a fabulous challenge as well as a great possibility of contributing my skills to a leading institution in America. The breadth and richness of MALI collections, its team and its potential will allow us to produce unique discourses and diverse narratives on history to understand the present and imagine the future, from Peruvian art, to the whole world.”
During the course of his career, Marí has led numerous art institutions around the world. He was curator of exhibitions at the Fondation pour l’Architecture in Brussels from 1989 to 1993, and he later became curator at he Valencian Institute of Modern Art-IVAM in Spain. He has directed the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Centro Internacional de Cultura Contemporánea in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
In 2015, Marí resigned from his position at MACBA amid scandal. The museum had planned to mount an exhibition called “The Beast and the Sovereign,” which was to include an Ines Doujak sculpture that some had labeled “pornographic.” After the the curators refused to remove the piece, Marí had the board fire them, and the exhibition was canceled. He departed the museum days later.
Marí’s reasons for leaving the MMCA in Korea have been unclear. In an interview with the Korean Herald, he alluded to a power struggle between the museum and the government that supports it. He called the museum’s programming an “instrument to satisfy personal benefits and the interests of small groups.”
Juan Carlos Verme, the president of the Museo de Arte de Lima, added, “The extensive experience and active participation of Bartomeu in organizations and projects throughout the world will strengthen the capabilities and reach of MALI’s experienced team.”