Elvira Dyangani Ose Named Director of Barcelona’s MACBA

July 20th, 2021

Elvira Dyangani Ose has been announced as the next director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Dyangani Ose, whose five-year contract begins later this year, will replace Ferran Beranblit, who helmed the museum for six years. She will be the first woman and the first Black person to lead the institution since its founding in 1987.

A lecturer on visual culture at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dyangani Ose is a PhD candidate in art history at Cornell University, where she is expected to defend her dissertation this summer. Since 2018, she has served as director and chief curator of London’s Showroom, which focuses on site-specific commissions by emerging artists; before assuming that dual role, she was curator of international art at London’s Tate Modern, curator of contemporary art at Seville, Spain’s Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), and senior curator at Creative Time in New York. In 2015 she curated the Eighth Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art in Sweden, and in 2013 she served as the artistic director of the Third Rencontres Picha – Lubumbashi Biennial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dyangani Ose was selected to head MACBA by a jury including Chris Dercon, president of Paris’s Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais; João Fernandes, artistic director of Rio de Janeiro’s Instituto Moreira Salles; and Ann-Sofi Noring, chief curator of Stockholm’s Moderna Museet. In a statement, the jury praised Dyangani Ose’s  “innovative approach to the role of the Museum on the local and international stage,” notning her “clear desire to connect with contemporary debates on the role of art at the beginning of this century, without shying away from a firm commitment to the social issues surrounding cultural institutions.”

MACBA is currently in the middle of a major expansion project, the handling of which is said to have led to departure of Dyangani Ose’s predecessor.