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Seattle Art Museum’s Michael Darling Named Chief Curator of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

After nearly a year without a chief curator to call its own, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, announced today that Michael Darling, Seattle Art Museum’s Mary Shirley curator of modern and contemporary art, has been appointed the new James W. Alsdorf chief curator and will assume responsibilities July 12, according to Lauren Viera in the Chicago Tribune. Darling replaces former chief curator Elizabeth Smith, who left the museum in August.

“I see the Modern Wing as really clarifying the positions of the two museums in the city,” Darling said. “Contemporary programming can only happen so fast or so often at a place like the Art Institute, so that constant energy and renewal is something that we can use to distinguish the MCA. I think it really privileges the MCA to be that engine of change.”

The Stranger’s Jen Graves writes that Darling was assistant curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art since 1998. The Long Beach native co-organized “Superflat,” with the artist Takashi Murakami in 2001. In 2002, Darling curated Seattle artist/architect Roy McMakin’s first museum survey.