New Appointment Heralds New Era for Spain’s IVAM

Jose Miguel García Cortés via: El País

After 10 years of declining reputation and visiting figures, Valencia’s contemporary art museum Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) is sending a strong message with the appointment of its new director, José Miguel García Cortés. The academic, writer, and former head of Castelló’s Espai d’Art Contemporàni was selected by a committee of renown museum directors, including the director of Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía, Manuel Borja-Villel,  and Philippe de Montebello, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

IVAM’s outgoing director, Consuelo Ciscar, managed the museum during a controversial 10-year tenure, which led to several local cultural associations to ask for her resignation in 2011. Highlights of her program include an exhibition focused on a notorious local hairdresser called Tono and a solo show of her son’s work, the artist Rablaci. But professional discredit is perhaps not the most pressing problem for Ciscar at the moment: her husband Rafael Blasco, a local MP from the ruling Partido Popular, was sentenced to eight years in prison last July, after being found guilty of corruption and embezzlement of public money.

It thus comes as no surprise that the appointment of García Cortés, with his impeccable academic record and proven curatorial expertise, has been so well received: “García Cortés is a great curator and a rigorous thinker,” a Spanish gallery director told artnet News. “He did an spectacular job at the Espai d’Art Contemporàni.” All eyes will no doubt be on him in the months to come.





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