Star Curator Eva Respini Departs the ICA Boston to Head Up Curatorial Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery


The Vancouver Art Gallery has announced that Eva Respini will become its new deputy director and director of curatorial programs on August 1. She will replace Diana Freundl, who has been acting as interim chief curator, and will work with CEO Anthony Kiendl to oversee the museum’s move to a new purpose-built space that is set to open in 2028.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery has a remarkable history, a vibrant present-day community and boundless potential,” said Eva Respini in a statement. “The gallery’s new building presents an opportunity to create a truly different museum for the 21st 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.

Respini announced earlier this year that she would be leaving her post as chief curator at the ICA Boston, which she has held since 2015. Over the past eight years she has organized several significant solo shows, including “Huma Bhabha: They Live” and “John Akomfrah: Purple,” both in 2019, as well as ambitious group exhibitions like “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art” (2019) and “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today” (2018). She started her career at MoMA, where she worked for 14 years in the department of photography.

Respini also received international acclaim last year for curating and co-commissioning Simone Leigh’s exhibition for the U.S. Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. A follow-up mid-career survey of the American artist opened at the ICA Boston in April and will tour across the country until 2025.

Respini was born in France and had an itinerant upbringing until the age of 18, moving with her family throughout Europe and South America. She moved to the U.S. to study art history at Columbia University, where she would also complete her Master’s degree. In 2014, she was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York.


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