Stefan Kalmár has been appointed director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. He begins his new role in November 2016, filling the position left by Gregor Muir, who earlier this year headed to Tate Modern as director of its collection of international art.
The executive director and curator of Artists Space in New York since 2009, Kalmár has overseen numerous significant shows at the institution, including ones devoted to Bernadette Corporation (2012), Cameron Rowland (2016), Hito Steyerl (2015), Laura Poitras (2015), and, most recently, Lukas Duwenhögger (2016).
In an Artforum review of Kalmár’s first exhibition as director, Caroline Busta wrote, “This past summer, under the new direction of Stefan Kalmár (formerly at the Kunstverein Munich), the venerable nonprofit Artists Space underwent a significant physical transformation.” She continued, “Kalmár has rejected the notion of categorization by age or experience, adding that he sought to support the emerging interests of a vital sector of New York’s artists.” Read more about this first exhibition, of Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s installation piece Enough Tiranny Recalled, 1972–2009, in in the artist’s 500 Words here.
Kalmár previously worked as director of the Institute of Visual Culture, Cambridge, UK, and as artistic director at Cubitt Gallery, London. Under his tenure, Artists Space launched a second venue—Artists Space Books & Talks—and the organization’s annual income tripled. In May, it was announced that Artists Space would leave its primary location of twenty-three years at 38 Greene Street. A new location has not yet been announced. Their latest exhibition, “Decolonize This Place,” organized by the collective MTL+ at the invitation of Common Practice New York, began Saturday at Artists Space Books & Talks.
Kalmár said about his new role: “Historically, the ICA has always critically reflected on the role that contemporary art and culture play within the larger socioeconomic conditions of their times.”