Eva Respini appointed Deputy Director & Director of Curatorial Programs at Vancouver Art Gallery

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Eva Respini appointed Deputy Director & Director of Curatorial Programs at Vancouver Art Gallery
Photo by Ian Lefebvre, Vancouver Art Gallery.

VANCOUVER.- The Vancouver Art Gallery announced the appointment of Eva Respini as the new Deputy Director & Director of Curatorial Programs, which she assumed on August 1, 2023.

As the new Deputy Director & Director of Curatorial Programs, Respini will continue to shape and drive the vision of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s curatorial program along with CEO Anthony Kiendl and the dynamic Gallery team. She will be responsible for the direction of the activities of the Curatorial and Museum Services departments and will work collaboratively with organizational leadership to develop inspiring and innovative exhibition and collections strategies that respond to the Gallery’s strategic and business plans. Respini’s expertise, innovative thinking, global purview and commitment to curatorial craft at every level of exhibition-making make her a valuable asset to the Gallery’s leadership team.

Among her many achievements, Respini most recently held the title of Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (ICA/Boston). Respini also served as the curator and co-commissioner for the 2022 U.S. Pavilion’s presentation of Simone Leigh at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Leigh won the 2022 Golden Lion for her participation in the Biennale’s main exhibition. Respini also organized the highly successful mid-career survey of Simone Leigh's work, which opened at the ICA/Boston in April 2023, and will tour across the United States through 2025.

Prior to her tenure at the ICA/Boston, she served as Curator at the Museum of Modern Art for more than a decade in the department of photography, where she curated numerous acclaimed exhibitions of contemporary art and photography.

“We are thrilled to welcome Eva Respini to the Vancouver Art Gallery as Deputy Director and Director of Curatorial Programs,” says Anthony Kiendl, CEO and Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “I am confident that she will build upon the Vancouver Art Gallery’s incredible history of curatorial innovation and exhibition-making, adding her own unique voice and experience to our work. Her international outlook as a dual citizen of Norway and Italy, having lived in numerous countries including Croatia, France, Italy and Switzerland, will bring an international scope to the Gallery’s ambitious plans and help us to transform as we move to our new purpose-built facility expected to open in 2028.”

Specializing in global contemporary art and image-making practices, Respini's curatorial leadership and breadth of knowledge have been evident in her various projects. Notable exhibitions organized by Respini include "Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today" (2018), "When Home Won't Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art" (2019) and ambitious solo presentations such as "Firelei Báez" (2021), "John Akomfrah: Purple" (2019) and "Huma Bhabha: They Live" (2019). She has also curated major retrospectives of artists such as Cindy Sherman (2012) and surveys of Walid Raad (2015) and Robert Heinecken (2014). A global citizen, Respini lived in five different countries by the time she was 18. Her unique upbringing and extensive research travels have given her a unique worldview that she brings to her curatorial work.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery has a remarkable history, a vibrant present-day community and boundless potential,” says Eva Respini. “The Gallery’s new building presents an opportunity to create a truly different museum for the twenty-first century--one that attends to and welcomes the local community, has a global reach and purview, fearlessly foregrounds artists and learning for all and sets the bar for ecological sustainability. I can’t wait to work with the staff, Board and the Vancouver arts community to help launch the museum into its exciting next chapter.”

Respini's contributions extend beyond exhibition curation. She taught at Harvard University School of Design for the past five years and has served as visiting lecturer and critic at Columbia University's School of Visual Arts, Yale University's School of Art and the School of the Visual Arts, New York. She has published numerous books and catalogues and her writing appears in museum publications and periodicals.

The Gallery wishes to congratulate Eva on her new appointment as Deputy Director & Director of Curatorial Programs and looks forward to working with her as she continues to contribute to the arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The Gallery is also grateful for the leadership of interim Chief Curator Diana Freundl during an extensive international search. Freundl has been promoted to the permanent role of Senior Curator.

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