Omar Kholeif. Photo: Joe Mazza / Brave Lux.

Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives Omar Kholeif Departs MCA Chicago

Omar Kholeif, senior curator and director of global initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, has left his post after nearly three years at the institution. In a statement provided to Newcity Art, Kholeif said that he stepped down on Monday, June 4, in order to work on other projects. 

“I am looking forward to the next steps in my career, and to the wonderful possibilities that lie ahead,” he wrote. I am also excited to get a moment (in the interim) to spend some more time on my freelance projects including the Sharjah Biennial, Abu Dhabi Art, HOME/Manchester International Festival, and the V-A-C Pavilion at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, along with a number of books that I have set out to write. I am incredibly proud of the work that I have achieved at the MCA, and I will continue to follow this incredible institution, which continues to move from strength to strength!”

During his tenure at the museum, Kholeif curated numerous exhibitions, including solo shows of work by artists such as Paul Heyer, Basim Magdy, Michael Rakowitz, and Otobong Nkanga. Later this month, the institution will open a major group show, “I Was Raised On the Internet,” which he organized in collaboration with curatorial assistant Nina Wexelblatt and curatorial fellow Jared Quinton.

Kholeif first joined the MCA as senior curator in September 2015—he was named the director of global initiatives later on. Previously, he served as curator of London’s Whitechapel Gallery.