Sandra Guimarães appointed director of Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear


Sandra Guimarães, nueva directora del Museo Helga de Alvear

Sandra Guimarães (Porto) will be the first person to occupy the direction of the Helga de Alvear Museum in Cáceres, Extremadura (Spain).

Guimarães has been the person selected in the international public competition that began in November 2022 and whose resolution is included on the museum’s website. The Portuguese curator and manager has been selected after a selection process in which the candidates had to present a Management Project for the Helga de Alvear Museum for the next 4 years.

For the selection, the Helga de Alvear Foundation has relied on an Evaluation Commission chaired by Helga de Alvear and composed by Manuel Borja-Villel, former Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid) and curator of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo; Udo Kittelmann, Artistic Director of the Frieder Burda Museum (Baden-Baden); Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the NTU Center for Contemporary Art (Singapore); Nuria Enguita, Director of the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (Valencia); Mercedes Roldán Sánchez, Deputy Director General of State Museums of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Government of Spain, Ana Jiménez del Moral, Art Technician, of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Extremadura Government and María Jesús Ávila, Coordinator of the Helga de Alvear Museum, as secretary.

The selection of Sandra Guimarães as Director of the Helga de Alvear Museum by the Evaluation Commission is based on “the international career of the candidate, which gives her extensive experience and a network of contacts with museum institutions, artists and professionals who are considered decisive for the international projection that the Helga de Alvear Museum is intended to achieve, in addition to her knowledge and experience in Portugal artistic context, considered a key country in the field of relations to foster in the new phase that is opening for the Museum ”. In addition to her extensive experience as an exhibition curator and her thorough knowledge of the Helga de Alvear Collection, the jury has valued “the demonstrated ability to program, lead teams, raise funds and relate to administrations, cultural agents, artists and the community”.

The new director, who will join the team in the coming months, declares: “I am enormously happy for this unique opportunity and to be able to work in a museum like this, with great artistic impact, with such a unique, stimulating Collection that denotes a high degree of demand. It will be an absolute privilege to work closely with Helga de Alvear, the fantastic team and the entire community of Cáceres to grow together Helga de Alvear Museum success”.

Sandra Guimarães’s experience

Sandra Guimarães (Porto)’s career in the visual arts spans around 20 years and includes positions such as the Artistic Director of Bombas Gens Center d’Art, (Valencia), between 2020 and 2023. Guimarães has been a curator at the Museu Serralves ( Porto, Portugal) between 1998-2010, as well as founding Director of programs at Remai Modern (Saskatoon, Canada) between 2015-2019.

In Serralves she organized exhibitions of contemporary artists such as Alvess, Artur Barrio, Thomas Hirschhorn, Cristina Iglesias, Barry Le Va and Dan Graham, among others, and was co-curator of The 80 ’s exhibition. A Topology, with works by artists such as Miroslaw Balka, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Heimo Zobernig, Juan Muñoz, Cristina Iglesias, Julião Sarmento, Jimmie Durham, Thomas Schütte, Rosemarie Trockle, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Luc Tuymans , Eugenio Dittborn, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Robert Gober, Tony Cragg, Matt Mullican and David Hammons, among others.

At Remai Modern she co-curated the museum’s pre-launch program as well as its inaugural exhibition, Field Guide. The sample was completed with other projects such as What Can I learn from you. What can you learn from me (Critical Workshop), Presence and production by Thomas Hirschhorn, Faces of Picasso, the collection selected by Ryan Gander, by Ryan Gander, and Determined by the River, by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater. The exhibition included around 80 artists such as Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall, John Baldessari, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Ahlam Shibli, Haegue Yang, Raqs Media Collective, RHQuatman, Rosemarie Trockel, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Kuri, Walid Raad, Luc Tuymans, Francis Alys, Hito Steyerl, Kara Uzelman, Emily Carr and Daniel Steegman Mangrané, among others.

He has also curated solo exhibitions by Rosa Barba, Rikrit Tiravanija and Joan Jonas, and organized Jimmie Durham’s At the Center of the World exhibition with the Hammer Museum in collaboration with the Whitney Museum in New York and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. .

At Bombas Gens Center d’Art she has programmed and co-curated the exhibition Sculpting Reality. The documentary style in the Per Amor a l’Art Collection; she has curated the inclusive project Energy = Yes! Quality = No! (a critical workshop) by Thomas Hirschhorn (2021); Performing Nature, by Carlos Bunga (2023); and Honeymoon. Miralda’s Unclassified (2023); she launched new programmatic lines, such as a series of artist books that began with the edition of V.C.R.T., by Thomas Hirschhorn, as well as a Web Collection program with the artist Ryan Gander with the work Difficult Ideas and Unrealized Projects, 2021; She has programmed the Artists Talks series, with artists such as Juan Uslé, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ryan Gander, Bleda y Rosa, Susan Meiselas, and Ahlam Shibli, among other artistic projects. In 2022, she has been a guest curator of PhotoEspaña 2022, with Vicente Todolí.

Her curatorial practice stands out, among others, for inclusive art projects that oppose hierarchies of culture and artistic value, fostering unexpected encounters and critical social discourses. The Critical Workshop Energy = Yes! Quality = No! (2021) by Thomas Hirschhorn at Bombas Gens Center d’Art, the ¡YA! anniversary party, or the Honeymoon participatory project. Miralda’s Unclassified, align with her interest in rethinking the conditions and methods through which learning and experiencing art take place.

In 2018 she was a member of the ScotiaBank nominating group for the Award Photography Prize in Toronto, Canada. In 2021, she has been president of the jury of the XXIV Sala el Brocense Plastic Arts Awards (Cáceres) and member of the juries of the XXVIII Call for Plastic Arts Scholarships from the Botín Foundation, ¡PAM!21 (UPV, Valencia) and of the Miquel Navarro Mislata Biennial. Since 2021 she is a member of the jury for the Pego Painting Award. Since 2023, she is a member of the Advisory Council of International Experts for the acquisitions of the “La Caixa” Foundation Contemporary Art Collection.

Her training includes a Master’s in Art History and Archeology (specialization in Modern and Contemporary Art), as well as a Master’s in Cultural Management, both from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

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