FRONT International cancels its 2025 edition and shuts down

Asad Raza, who was meant to curate the 2025 iteration of the triennial. Photo: Paula Court. Courtesy Städelschule, Germany

FRONT International, the Cleveland Triennial which has garnered a reputation as one of the foremost contemporary art exhibitions in the Midwest of the US, has folded. The announcement comes 18 months before the planned opening of the Triennial’s third edition, and on its website the organisation explains that ‘the world is a very different place in 2024 than it was when our Founder, Fred Bidwell, launched this ambitious initiative in 2016. Public and private funding priorities have changed to focus on the critical needs of our communities.’

The 2025 edition was meant to open on 16 July 2025 and to have been curated by artist Asad Raza. The curators of the first two iterations were Michelle Grabner (2018) and Prem Krishnamurthy (2022). The triennial drew large audiences and critical attention. Last year, Forbes ran an article titled ‘Cleveland, The Next Venice’ extorting the city’s art & culture scene, which it described as already existing ‘at a world-class level’, while highlighting FRONT’s major contributions to it. The folding of the Triennial is ‘disappointing’, the announcement reads, as the organisation ‘will not be able to realise the vision of FRONT’s 2025 Artistic Director, Asad Raza’ and of chief curator Magdalena Moskalewicz. The announcement, from board chair Helen Forbes Fields and executive director Bidwell, closes by thanking ‘the artists whose insight and creativity made FRONT 2018 and FRONT 2022 such inspiring experiences. FRONT was created for and by you.’

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