Gregory Burke portrait
The Board of Trustees of the Mendel Art Gallery, and the future Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, is pleased to announce the appointment of Gregory Burke as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. Acclaimed as a gallery director, curator and writer over his 27-year career, Burke is respected for leading programs that have significantly elevated both the profile and visitation rates of the institutions for which he has worked.
“I look forward to working with the gallery’s staff, trustees, and the wider community of Saskatoon to build on the proud legacy of the Mendel and the vision of the new Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan,” said Burke. “By presenting an array of artistic positions and voices, and a program that engages diverse audiences, I believe that the new Remai can become a globally-renowned Canadian leader in the presentation and interpretation of art.”
A native of New Zealand, Burke is a former Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, the country’s largest contemporary art museum, and former Assistant Director/Chief Curator at the Wellington City Art Gallery.
In 2005, Burke was drawn to Canada to serve as Director of The Power Plant, a renowned contemporary art museum in Toronto. Burke stepped away from the role in 2011 to pursue opportunities as an international museum consultant, writer, and independent curator. Drawing on his experience as Curator for New Zealand's inaugural pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001, Commissioner for New Zealand's pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005, and as a curator for the Site Santa Fe International Biennial in 2008, Burke is currently co-curating the 2013 Montreal Biennale, L’avenir (looking forward).
“Although I have enjoyed working independently, the opportunity to help realize the vision of the Remai was simply too attractive to pass up,” said Burke. “It is a rare chance to be able to work with visionary donors, a go-ahead city, an ambitious and committed Board, and a great architect to establish a major institution from the ground up. This is an important moment for the new gallery and Canadian art. I am thrilled to be part of it.”
Over the course of his career, Burke has curated more than 90 exhibitions, published more than 100 texts, and worked with artists throughout the world. He is an active member and contributor within the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art and the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art; and is a past member of the Contemporary Curatorial and Acquisitions Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, and US Contemporary Art Museum Directors Association, among others. He also serves on the international advisory boards of Art & Australia and the academic journal, Reading Room.
“Gregory is an institution builder,” said Jason Aebig, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Mendel Art Gallery and the future Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.
“His rare combination of insight, experience and understanding will help position the gallery locally, nationally and internationally. Gregory’s strong connections and credibility in the sector will help Saskatoon take its place among Canada’s most culturally important and creative cities.”