Bartomeu Marí is new director of MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona). Marí will replace Manuel J. Borja-Villel, who from the end of January became head of the Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Before the decision the museum board of directors allowed sixteen candidates to present their plans for the museum. The board consisted of Lynne Cooke, director of DIA Center for the Arts in New York, María de Corral, former head of the Reina Sofia, Chris Dercon, from the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Vicente Todolí, director of Tate Modern in London and cinematographer Pere Portabella.
Born in Elvissa (Spain) in 1966, Marí – who speaks Catalan, Castilian, Spanish, French, English, Italian and Dutch fluently – studied philosophy in Barcelona; consequently, he served as director of exhibitions at the Fondation pour l’Architecture in Brussels, as curator at IVAM in Valencia and as coordinator at the International Center for Contemporary Culture in Donostia-San Sebastián, after six years as the director of the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.
In 2002 he curated “The Great Theater of the World” at the Taipei Biennial, including projects by Oladele Bamgboye, Thomas Demand and Joan Jonas.
Over the years Marí has written on the work of David Lamelas, Thomas Schütte, Lawrence Weiner, Marcel Broothaers, Rachel Whiteread and Juliao Sarmento to name just a few. After his appointment, Marí said that “MACBA doesn’t need a Copernican tour,” demonstrating his disposability to “keep on cultivating elements from the past direction.”