Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art since 1998, has been named chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. He will lead a department of five staff curators and one curator-at-large that is responsible for planning exhibitions and installations and overseeing a collection of nearly 12,000 objects.
“Stéphane has the vision and experience to lead the Hirshhorn’s curatorial department at a time when we are expanding our profile nationally and internationally,” said Melissa Chiu, director of the Hirshhorn. “He has worked closely with a diverse roster of artists and conceived and executed important monographic and thematic exhibitions. And he has been instrumental in building a significant contemporary collection. We are fortunate to be able to welcome him to the Hirshhorn.”
A prominent scholar of contemporary art, Aquin has curated several major exhibitions at MMFA and written catalog essays about Peter Doig, Jean Paul Riopelle, Dorothea Rockburne, Carolee Schneemann and others. He established and headed the MMFA’s project series and expanded the museum’s collection by more than 1,000 works.
Before his tenure at the MMFA, Aquin worked as an independent art critic from 1992 to 1998, serving notably as chief art critic for the Montreal weekly Voir. Before that he held various curatorial positions in museums across Canada. He has been a part-time faculty member in the Masters of Fine Arts Studio Arts program at Concordia University in Montreal since 1996 and for the past 10 years has acted as advisor to the acquisition committee of the art collection of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of Canada’s largest pension fund managers.
Born in Montreal and raised in the United States and Switzerland, Aquin earned a master’s degree in art history from the Université de Montréal in 1987 and has pursued doctoral studies in sociology at the same university.
Aquin succeeds Kerry Brougher, who served as the Hirshhorn’s chief curator from 2000 until May 31, 2014.
Posted: 4 February 2015