Artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries and instigator of global, networked art projects
‘The work of the Serpentine – and its incomparable artistic director – cannot be allowed to be undermined,’ wrote CEO Yana Peel on quitting the London institution. Peel’s resignation left Obrist to do what he does best: being everywhere, knowing everyone. Outside the Serpentine Galleries – including shows for Pierre Huyghe, Emma Kunz, Hito Steyerl and Faith Ringgold this past year – and keeping a hand in the Luma Foundation in Arles, Obrist is also artistic adviser to The Shed, the New York arts complex that opened in April. That institution is directed by Alex Poots, his old chum from the Manchester International Festival, to which Obrist returned this year to cocurate an ‘exhibition of literature’ with novelist Adam Thirlwell. Not content with shaping art, Obrist also was art: the subject of 50 Times Obrist, a suite of paintings by Francesco Bonami. With this workload, Obrist really does need cloning.
Updated 18 February 2020: This story previously referenced an article published by the Guardian newspaper. Following a legal complaint, the Guardian removed its article of 14 June 2019 and apologised to Mrs Peel. ArtReview is happy to clarify that Yana Peel is not, and was not, personally involved in the operation or decisions of the regulated Novalpina Capital investment fund, which is managed by her husband Stephen Peel, and others. Mrs Peel was not involved in any decision-making relating to the fund’s acquisition of NSO. Mrs Peel only has a small, indirect and passive interest in the fund. She does not own, whether directly or indirectly, any Novalpina Capital entity or any stake in NSO Group.