The Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates has tapped Omar Kholeif as its director of collections and senior curator.
Since departing his role as senior curator and director of global initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) last year, Kholeif has worked as an independent curator. With Claire Tancons and Zoe Butt, he organized this year’s Sharjah Biennial, which is now in its final days.
In a statement published by the Art Newspaper, Kholeif said he left the MCA Chicago around this time last year to “focus on building the next steps of my career and that means I need to dedicate the next few months to some very important freelance projects.” Those projects included work with Abu Dhabi Art, HOME/Manchester International Festival, and the V-A-C Pavilion at the current Venice Biennale.
Kholeif will now lead the Sharjah Art Foundation’s acquisition strategy and develop exhibitions for year-round programming. He said in a statement, “[The foundation] is increasingly one of the most important collections in the region and it is a privilege and an honor to lead its continued development and ultimately create ways to share it with the public in Sharjah and internationally.”
Hoor Al Qasimi, the Sharjah Art Foundation director, said, “As a leading curator and scholar with a deep knowledge of both the artists and art history of the region and the broader international arts dialogue, Omar brings a critical new dimension that will greatly enhance the advancement of our mission both within the UAE and internationally.”