Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster,
27 June – 16 September 2012
The Biennale of Sydney has announced the appointment of Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster as Joint Artistic Directors of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, which will be held from Wednesday, 27 June – Sunday, 16 September 2012.
'We are delighted that Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have accepted our invitation,' says Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer. 'For the first time, the Biennale of Sydney has appointed a curatorial duo to direct the exhibition and program. Both de Zegher and McMaster are dynamic and respected figures in their fields and have previously worked together to great acclaim. This promises to be an innovative collaboration and we look forward to building on the success of previous biennales to present an exciting and multi-faceted 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012.'
Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster have recently collaborated at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, where they participated in the re-installation of the Gallery's collection in the renovated museum building by Frank Gehry. They have also worked together on Draw & Tell: Lines of Transformation by Norval Morrisseau/Copper Thunderbird (2001) at The Drawing Center, New York.
Catherine de Zegher is currently Guest Curator, Department of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Visiting Curator, Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona. Until recently, de Zegher was Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. For many years, she was the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Drawing Center, New York (1999–2006) and co-founder and Director of the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium (1987–98).
De Zegher is the curator of widely acclaimed exhibitions, including America: Bride of the Sun. 500 Years of Latin America and the Low Countries (1992) at the Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp and Inside the Visible. An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth-Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine (1994–96) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Since 2005, Gerald McMaster has been the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. He was also a member of the curatorial team for this year's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, McMaster was the Director's Special Assistant for Mall Exhibitions and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources (2000–04). McMaster was also Curator, Canadian Museum of Civilization (1981–2000).
McMaster has curated many renowned exhibitions, including In the Shadow of the Sun (1988), Indigena (1992), Edward Poitras XLVI Biennale di Venezia (1995) and Reservation X (1998).
Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster commented: 'Our curatorial approach will be shaped by a thorough engagement with the artists and their works, using a model we have developed in our practice: a process not as sequential but as consequential. It is a connective and narrative model based on relation, conversation and storytelling. Beginning with two curators in dialogue, that conversation will extend to both artists and audiences. The Biennale will draw upon these various exchanges, friendships, and sympathies and use this coming together as the material of real experience – the cellular structure and sinew of a kind of living, breathing organism from which the Biennale will grow. Audiences from different backgrounds will be part of this continual development, finding the sense of their own direction in these connections and relations. Together we will advance the proposition that artistic practices in the 21st century are becoming ever more "intersubjective" allowing for mutual recognition and working alongside each other.'