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Remai Modern announces new leadership

SASKATOON, CANADA — Following an expansive search by the Board of Directors that garnered tremendous interest, Remai Modern is delighted to announce its new permanent leadership team. Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh will join Remai Modern later this year as Co-Executive Director and CEO. The Canadian/Swedish duo were chosen for their work in leading major cultural institutions and their extensive experience as curators.

“Aileen and Johan are innovators with a growing reputation for their unique and collaborative approach to museum management,” said Doug Matheson, Remai Modern’s Board Chair. “In addition to their respected work as curators, they bring valuable strategic, financial, human resources and fundraising background to the organization. We are thrilled to welcome them to Saskatoon and begin Remai Modern’s exciting new chapter.”

Burns and Lundh most recently led Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Zealand as Co-Director and Chief Curator, where they managed a core team of 35 staff and an extended group of 60. In addition to developing exhibitions and public programs at Govett-Brewster, they managed the museum’s budget and staff, developed and maintained the permanent collection, and managed external relationships, among other functions.

At Remai Modern, Burns and Lundh will provide leadership and direction in support of the organization’s mandate and lead new long-term business and strategic plans to ensure the continued success of the museum.

“We are delighted to be taking up the role of Executive Director & CEO of Remai Modern this summer. We have followed the museum’s development and opening program closely and have been impressed with its vision and ambition. We identify strongly with the artist-centred spirit of Remai Modern, the commitment to reimagining Modernisms, and dynamic collections development. We look forward to furthering its impacts, achievements and reputation.

“Writing from the kitchen table during our sixth week in a small cottage in New Plymouth, New Zealand, we’re dreaming of the moment when we can gather again and be nourished by art and build a new life with the community in Saskatoon. We look forward to working closely with the staff, board, foundation, patrons and stakeholders to keep art at the centre of civic life.

Burns and Lundh start at Remai Modern mid-summer. In the meantime, Interim Executive Director & CEO Lynn McMaster will continue to lead the museum.

About Burns and Lundh

Aileen Burns is a Canadian curator and writer from Toronto. She earned a Master of Arts in Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, New York in 2010. Prior to that, she completed her B.A. in Art History and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto.

Johan Lundh is a Swedish curator, writer, and translator. He holds both bachelor and Master’s of Fine Arts from Konstfack University College in Sweden.

Prior to leading Govett-Brewster, Burns and Lundh were Co-Directors of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia, and the Centre for Contemporary Art, in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Over the past decade, Burns and Lundh have curated over 50 exhibitions and projects across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, with an emphasis on commissioning new art works. Their projects often respond to time and place, with colonial legacies, ideas of belonging, and new technologies running throughout.

Burns and Lundh have worked on major projects with artists such as Gordon Bennett, Ruth Buchanan, Céline Condorelli, Dale Harding, Nicholas Mangan, Amalia Pica, Slavs and Tatars, Hito Steyerl, Luke Willis Thompson, and Haegue Yang. They have also edited and co-edited a number of books, including award-winning titles in partnership with Sternberg Press, Berlin.

About Remai Modern

Remai Modern is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon. The museum is committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era. Open since October 2017, Remai Modern is the largest contemporary art museum in western Canada and houses a collection of more than 8,000 works, including the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints.

Remai Modern would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Frank & Ellen Remai

Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture through the Sask Lotteries Fund, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the City of Saskatoon.

Remai Modern is temporarily closed to the public to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The museum plans to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

For additional information contact:

Stephanie McKay, Communications Manager