Penelope Curtis to Curate Contemporary Art Section at 2017 TEFAF Maastricht

The former director of Tate Britain will shake things up at the historical fair.

Penelope Curtis at Tate Britain next to Henry Moore's Draped Seated Figure. Photo by Warrick Page/Getty Images.
Penelope Curtis at Tate Britain next to Henry Moore's Draped Seated Figure. Photo by Warrick Page/Getty Images.

Penelope Curtis, director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, will curate the third edition of TEFAF Curated, a section of the fair which focuses on contemporary art, at TEFAF Maastricht 2017.

Curtis, a sculpture curator and art historian, was director of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds for 11 years, before joining Tate Britain as their first female director, where she remained from 2010-2015.

Curtis’ time at Tate Britain was not without controversy, as her extensive re-hang of the permanent collection divided opinion. She also oversaw a £45 million renovation of the museum and popular exhibitions on JMW Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Installation view of "Show Your Wounds" the curated section at TEFAF 2016Photo; Hili Perlson

Installation view of “Show Your Wounds” the curated section at TEFAF 2016. Photo Hili Perlson.

Curtis joined the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum last year, where she is in charge of a collection of around 6,000 artworks, from Egyptian to early 20th century art, as well as a program of temporary exhibitions. The Gulbenkian has been elected one of the ten best small museums in the world, and was visited by over 273,000 people in 2014.

Aiming to reflect on of periods spanning the ancient to the contemporary, at TEFAF Curated Curtis will use the motif of the recumbent figure to explore universal themes such as life, death, fertility, fecundity, grief, and commemoration.

Participating galleries are yet to be announced, but given the breadth of items that feature at TEFAF the selection is sure to be rich and varied.


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