Haus der kunst: director okwui enwezor resigns from office

Haus der kunst: director okwui enwezor resigns from office

The artistic director of the haus der kunst in munich, okwui enwezor, has resigned for health reasons. The 54-year-old’s contract was due to expire on 1 january. June, the ministry of art announced in munich on monday. A successor will now be sought quickly.

The tasks of the artistic director will initially be taken over by the chief curator ulrich wilmes, alongside the commercial director bernhard spies, who has been in office since april.

Enwezor, a native of nigeria, had been at the helm of the renowned museum, which does not have a collection of its own and has its exhibitions on loan, since 2011. In 2002, he directed documenta 11 in kassel, and in 2015 he directed 56. Venice biennial. "There is never an ideal time for a farewell, but i am stepping down at a time when the haus der kunst has reached an artistic position of strength," said the 54-year-old.

Bavaria’s arts minister marion kiechle (CSU), who also chairs the supervisory board, thanked enwezor. Thanks to its outstanding exhibition programs, the house had considerably strengthened its international reputation. "Through his curatorial expertise, the institution has gained worldwide recognition."

The haus der kunst has turbulent times behind it. In the summer of 2017, massive money problems became known. Employees’ close ties to scientology and cases of sexual harassment also made headlines. The supervisory board reacted with notices and put enwezor in the fall a commercial manager at the side. First it was the financial expert stefan gros, followed in april by spies, who formerly headed the kunsthalle bonn.

Rough tasks await top management. From 2020, the building erected by the nazis in 1937 is to be renovated according to plans by the british star architect david chipperfield. The state of bavaria, the most important financial backer, plans to pay up to 150 million euros for the project.

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