Tate Modern has announced that Frances Morris, Director of Collection, International Art, Tate, has been appointed the new Director of Tate Modern. She will replace the popular Chris Dercon who moves to a new post as artistic director of the experimental Berlin theatre Volksbühne in Germany. Frances Morris (57) has played a key role in the development of Tate, joining as a curator in 1987, becoming Head of Displays at Tate Modern (2000-2006) and then Director of Collection, International Art. She has continually worked to re-imagine Tate’s collection and has been instrumental in developing its international reach and its representation of women artists. Frances was jointly responsible for the initial presentation of the opening collection displays at Tate Modern in 2000, which radically transformed the way museums present the story of modern art. She is now working closely with colleagues towards the new Tate Modern, opening to the public on 17 June 2016.
Frances has curated landmark exhibitions, many of which were large-scale international collaborations. Recently she curated three major retrospectives of women artists including Louise Bourgeois in 2007, Yayoi Kusama in 2012 and Agnes Martin in 2015.
Frances Morris said, “Tate Modern is a truly unique institution and I have been privileged to have been part of the team from the very beginning. An incredible collection, amazing artists, extraordinary colleagues across Tate, brilliant supporters and wave upon wave of appreciative visitors have given me many creative opportunities and memorable experiences. I am thrilled and excited to be appointed as Director and look forward to taking on this new role at such an exciting time for the museum.”
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “Frances Morris is an innovative thinker who has shaped and developed Tate’s international collection, firmly establishing Tate Modern as one of the foremost contemporary and modern art galleries in the world. She is widely respected internationally for her flair, expertise and clarity of vision. She will lead the new Tate Modern into the next era.”
Earlier in her career Frances Morris curated Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism in 1993 and in 1995 she worked with Stuart Morgan on the exhibition Rites of Passage. Specialising in post-war European and contemporary international art, she has published widely on the subject and has also curated projects with many contemporary artists from Britain and abroad, including Miroslaw Balka, Chris Burden, Genevieve Cadieux, Sophie Calle, Mark Dion, Luciano Fabro, Paul McCarthy and Nicholas Pope.
From 1979-1982 Frances studied her BA in History of Art at Cambridge University and her MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She is a Board member at Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, a Board member of CIMAM and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto.
Ms Morris will take up the appointment of Director, Tate Modern later this year.
Photo: P C Robinson © artlyst 2016