MACBA Names Ferran Barenblit Director Following Bartomeu Marí’s Resignation

Ferran Barenblit.
Photo Miquel Coll, courtesy MACBA.

The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) has named Ferran Barenblit its new director, following the abrupt resignation in March of director Bartomeu Marí.

In the spring, MACBA was in crisis mode when the exhibition “La bestia y el soberano” (“The Beast and the Sovereign”) opened. A work by Ines Doujak portrayed former Spanish king Juan Carlos and Bolivian Labor leader Domitila Barrios de Chúngara involved in a sexual act with a dog on a bed of SS helmets. Two curators involved with the exhibition lost their jobs. During Marí’s tenure, which had lasted since 2008, curators Friedrich Meschede, Chus Martínez, and Carlos Guerra all cycled through MACBA.

Barenblit has been director of Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M) in Madrid since 2008. The multimedia arts center has devoted exhibitions to subjects like Sonic Youth and the punk movement (“Punk: Its Traces in Contemporary Art” is on view through October 4) as well as artists such as Walead Beshty, Jeremy Deller, Carlos Garaicoa, and the RAQS Media Collective.

Previously, Barenblit headed up the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica (CASM) in Barcelona, which is devoted to contemporary art. During his time there, CASM mounted shows devoted to Alicia Framis, Christian Jankowski, Jiri Kovanda, and Esther Partegàs, among others.

His previous positions include chief curator of Espai 13, at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, and assistant curator at the New Museum in New York. He was also a co-curator of the Site Santa Fe biennial in 2008.

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