Artspace News

Artspace appoints Remco de Blaaij as its new Director

Monday, 24 April 2017 2:33:53 p.m.

Remco de Blaaij

Photo by Alan Dimmick


The Artspace (Aotearoa) Trust is pleased to confirm the appointment of Remco de Blaaij as Artspace’s new Director. His appointment builds on Artspace’s continuing commitment, to develop and nurture artistic research and practice in New Zealand and to produce an exhibition programme of both national and international significance.


Remco currently holds the position of Senior Curator at the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, where he has worked since 2012. Prior to holding this position, Remco worked at the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands from 2006 until 2011, where he co-curated Picasso in Palestine with Charles Esche, Khaled Hourani, Fatima Abdulkarim and Galit Eilat in 2011. He was also part of the team of Be(com)ing Dutch, a two-year project (2006-2008) led by Annie Fletcher at the Van Abbemuseum, that dealt with residues of globalisation, national identity and immigration. His 2012 research project, completed at Goldsmiths University, explored border practices of visual culture against the background of Suriname, South America. In 2013, he was recipient of the CPPC/ICI Travel Grant for Central America and the Caribbean. His written work has been published in a range of international publications.


The Artspace Board began the recruitment process in late 2016, appointing Remco from a strong shortlist of local and international candidates. Board member Harry Cundy says, “Artspace welcomes Remco’s commitment to socially engaged curatorial research and programming, and his sensitivity toward cultural and political contexts. We are excited to see the developments Artspace will take on with his vision and enthusiasm over the next 3 years.”


2017 sees Artspace celebrating its 30th year of contemporary art leadership through the tenure of 10 past directors. Reflecting on this history, the Board continues to review the strategy, significance and the register of the organisation within the creative sector. As part of this work, the Board has identified a need to enhance Artspace's relevance and responsibility to Maori and indigenous communities of the Pacific. This imperative will be a key focus for the coming term, reflected in Artspace’s ongoing governance and organisational leadership planning.


Out-going Director Misal Adnan Yildiz’s programme will continue until August. On the 19th of May Artspace will launch parallel solo presentations from Yuki Kihara, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy and Shannon Te Ao on view until the 1st of July, 2017. Artspace acknowledges and thanks Adnan for his leadership during his tenure, his strong focus on public engagement through collaboration and initiating the significant architectural changes to the gallery and surrounding spaces in 2016.


Remco and his family will relocate to Auckland in August this year, and in the following months he will launch his programme at Artspace.


Artspace acknowledges the support of our core funder Creative New Zealand. Thanks to Bureau Recruitment for their assistance in the recruitment process.



News »