The Serpentine Galleries have announced the appointment of Yana Peel, co-founder of the Outset Contemporary Art Fund and CEO of Intelligence Squared as the new CEO of the Serpentine Galleries in partnership with Hans Ulrich Obrist as Artistic Director. The new team will take the Serpentine into an exciting new phase, building on its current success and developing new programmes and audiences. The announcement follows the news last October that the Serpentine’s Director, Julia Peyton-Jones, is stepping down this month after 25 years of service at the Galleries. Ms Peel said: “I am thrilled to be taking on the leadership of the Serpentine, an institution that I have admired and been involved with for so long. With Hans Ulrich as Artistic Director, I am fully committed to making the most exciting art and ideas of our time accessible to the broadest audiences.”
Yana Peel is CEO of Intelligence Squared Group, the world’s leading forum for live debate. She co-founded the cultural foundation Outset Contemporary Art Fund in 2003 and pioneered new models of sponsorship for public arts projects, before moving to Asia in 2009. As co-director of Outset for seven years, she brought record levels of funding from private supporters, corporate partners and trustees to leading public museums, galleries and art projects around the world, including the acquisition of over 100 works for Tate through the Outset Frieze Art Fair Acquisitions Fund. Her international board and advisory positions include: Tate (Executive Council, International Council, Digital Advisory Group), V&A, British Fashion Council, Lincoln Center, V-A-C Foundation Moscow and Asia Art Archive. She was a Trustee of Serpentine Galleries from 2015 to 2016. As Co-Chair of Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art space, Para Site, in partnership with director/curator Cosmin Costinas, she oversaw its expansion of space and scale of programme, along with the transformation of its funding model from a majority of government support to a majority of private support. She is a recipient of the Mont Blanc Award for Arts Patronage for her fundraising and development work in service to the visual arts. As a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, she is a regular speaker and moderator at the Davos Annual Meeting, with a focus on issues of the relationship between technology and the arts. Her two children serve as inspiration for her series of best-selling books Art for Baby, which benefits the NSPCC where she has served on the Therapeutic Services Board for ten years. In 2015, she was named by the South China Morning Post as one of ‘10 Outstanding Women for this Year’ and selected by Debrett’s as one of ‘Hong Kong’s 100 People of Greatest Influence’.
Serpentine Galleries Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg said: “The Serpentine has a well-earned reputation for embracing new and exciting ideas, and I am confident that Yana’s and Hans Ulrich’s bold new leadership will enable us to continue pushing new boundaries for contemporary artists and audiences. Yana combines an extraordinary record of service to the arts with outstanding business experience. Hans Ulrich will provide not only artistic vision, but also continuity with the mission he and Julia Peyton-Jones so passionately worked to achieve.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist said: “I am looking forward to working in partnership with Yana Peel and embarking on an exciting new chapter in the history of the Serpentine. I am totally committed to continuing to make the Serpentine the place where artists want to work most and to be able to present our programme in ever new formats and to wider audiences.”
Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted with the recruitment for the new Chief Executive of the Serpentine Galleries and look forward to working with Yana Peel. Yana brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors and, in her prior career, a commitment to supporting artists and arts institutions.” The Serpentine also announced the appointment of two new Trustees, award-winning artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Mike Sherwood, Vice-Chairman, Goldman Sachs.