New directors for Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art and Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Zdenka Badovinac. Photo: Andjelic; Clare Lilley. © Jonty Wilde 2022

Zdenka Badovinac and Clare Lilley will head the respective institutions

Curator and writer Zdenka Badovinac has been selected to head the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art. Badovinac was formerly the long-serving director of Ljubljana’s Modern Galerija, but was ousted from her role in December 2020 by Slovenia’s new rightwing government after a 27-year tenure. She was widely credited for turning the museum into a progressive and leading institution, with the late Okwui Enwezor calling it ‘the house that Zdenka built’, having notably assembled the first collection of of postwar avant-garde art from Eastern Europe and curated influential exhibitions including Body and the East: From the 1960s to the Present (1998) and 2000+ Arteast Collection: The Art of Eastern Europe in Dialogue with the West (2003). Zdenka was also the commissioner for the Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale from 1993 to 1997, and again from 2005, while also serving as Austrian commissioner for the Bienal de São Paulo. In 2020, Zdenka received the Igor Zabel prize for her ‘outstanding […] contribution to Eastern Europe and global art history’. 

Meanwhile in the UK, Clare Lilley has been announced as the new director of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, succeeding its founding director Sir Peter Murray CBE who is retiring after 45 years at the helm. The institution, founded in 1977, is dedicated to presenting sculpture across the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. Lilley joined the institution back in 1999, most recently serving as director of programmes, and over the years she has curated work by artists including Ai Weiwei, Amar Kanwar, KAWS, Shirin Neshat and James Turrell. She has also curated the annual Frieze Sculpture in London’s Regent’s Park since 2012, and sits on the advisory committee of the Government Art Collection, the advisory group of the Yinka Shonibare Foundation and the Steering and Curatorial Groups of Yorkshire Sculpture International. She is a Trustee of Art UK, London, and the George Rickey Foundation, New York.

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