Manuel Segade has been elected as the new director of the Museo Reina Sofía. The 46-year-old manager of the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo (CA2M) in Móstoles has been the candidate with the highest score in the election process for the new direction of the Madrid art gallery. Miquel Iceta, Minister of Culture, has taken the decision that this Tuesday will take to the Council of Ministers.
Final stretch to decide the new direction of the Reina Sofía: the three chosen await the decision of Iceta
The new director, in the absence of his final approval on Tuesday, competed with eight other people for one of the most sought-after positions in the international contemporary art sector. 15 years ago, when Borja-Villel took over as director, 29 experts from the sector competed for the position. This has been one of the main symptoms of the controversy, especially media, that has accompanied the departure of the previous manager and this process that has lasted four months.
Segade has a degree in Art History from the University of Santiago de Compostela. He has served as programming coordinator of the Metrònom space of the Rafael Tous d'Art Contemporani Foundation of Barcelona and as Chief Curator of the Galician Center for Contemporary Art (Santiago de Compostela). In addition, he has curated for two decades (2003- 2023) numerous exhibitions in national and international institutions.
As a teacher he has been curatorial tutor and advisor of the postgraduate program in curatorial training of the École du Magasin at the Magasin Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Grenoble (France). He has also taught at university programs in South Africa and Brazil.
He has also published articles, catalogues and books, among which stand out, Narciso Fin de Siglo, from the Melusina publishing house (2008) or Las Infinitas Especies (Las Infinitas Especies by Espai d'Art Contemporani de Castellón (2014). She has several awards such as Una Gota MAV for the Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), for its commitment to gender equality (2022) and a special mention in the Outstanding Museum Practice Award of CIMAN to the CA2M Museum in 2021, for the projects developed in response to the pandemic in 2020.
Among the nine initial candidates were five women and four men. Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy (Mexicali, Mexico, 48 years old), former director of the Tamayo Museum of Mexico; Magali Arriola (Mexico City, 53 years old), current director of Tamayo, and Viviana Kuri (Mexico City, 1970) who directs the Zapopan Art Museum (MAZ). The other two candidates are Rosana Carrete (Montevideo, 54 years old), who since 2013 leads the Cabildo Museum in Montevideo, and the Italian Cristiana Collu (Cagliari, 57 years old), director of the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome.
The candidates have been Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, 53, the former director and chief curator of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, now an advisor to the Venezuelan collector. In addition to Bartomeu Marí (Ibiza, 57 years old), philosopher and director of the Macba between 2008 and 2015, and Ferrán Barenblit (Buenos Aires, 56 years old), former director of two important contemporary art museums: the CA2M in Móstoles and the Macba in Barcelona.
The committee of experts chose the shortlist last Friday afternoon, according to the rules of the contest, published on February 10 in the BOE. A second committee, led by Beatriz Corredor, vice president of the Board of Trustees, gave the go-ahead to the last candidates before communicating it, this Monday, during the plenary session of this body, to Iceta. The minister will transfer the decision to the Council of Ministers that meets this Tuesday for approval.
This process ends then only a week after Pedro Sánchez announced the electoral advance to July 23. That is, with a government focused on an eternal electoral campaign, with little room for maneuver, with the Cortes closed and the polls against after the triumph of the right in the appointment of the municipal and regional elections on May 28. Another controversy to add to a process that, from the Reina Sofía and the Ministry of Culture remember, began in February with deadlines established by law. It is the response to the statements of the PP campaign spokesman, Borja Sémper, who has urged the Government to postpone the election process until after the elections and has assured that the Government makes "use of the institutions in electoral period in a twisted way". "It is perfectly legal but institutionally chusco," he remarked about the contest approved in the BOE in February.