An art historian and General heritage curator, Christine Macel began
her career at the Ministry of Culture as an inspector of artistic creation
at the Delegation of Fine Arts. She comes to Les Arts Décoratifs from the
Musée National d’Art Moderne Industrial Creation Center at the Centre
Pompidou in 2000, where she established and has run the Contemporary
and Prospective Creation department.
She has curated close to fifty exhibitions; some on a monographic theme,
displaying both emerging and established artists (Sophie Calle, Gabriel
Orozco, Franz West), and others around a common theme, addressing
the major cultural and societal issues of the modern world (“Airs de Paris,
mutations dans la ville et la vie urbaine, art et design”, “Danser sa vie, Art
et danse aux XX et XXIème siècles”, “Une histoire, art, architecture, design,
des années 80 à nos jours” and, more recently, “Elles font l’abstraction”).
In addition, she also develops and conveys her vision of these issues
in numerous works and catalogs, from her essay Le temps pris published
by Flammarion to a recent anthology on globalization, L’art à l’ère
de la globalisation – Modernités et décentrement.
Christine Macel has organized numerous exhibitions abroad and
co-produced with leading institutions such as MoMA, the Whitney
Museum of American Art, the Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery, the
Martin Gropius Bau of Berlin, the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, the IMMA
of Dublin, the Sharjah Art Foundation of the United Arab Emirates, as well
as the Haus der Kunst of Munich.
From the very beginning of her career, she has developed her expertise
in the global art scene, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and
the former Eastern Bloc.
In addition to her many other achievements, Christine took on the role of
Artistic Director of the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, where she established
an ambitious project around the key issues of today –
from the artist’s perspective, their mental process
and relationship to the process, to the environment
and materials – in a variety of Biennale Pavilions,
with themes such as “Artists and Books”,
“Emotions and Fear”, “The Common”,
“The Earth”, “Traditions”, “Colors”,
“Shamans”, “Dionysiac”, “Time and Infinity”.
For the President of the Board of Directors Johannes Huth, “Christine’s
nomination is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Les Arts
Décoratifs, one that is still at the forefront of its time, bold and dedicated
to interdisciplinarity. It is important for us to keep certain centuriesold
artworks on display or in our collections because they still have
so much to show us; it is our duty to study them with our decidedly
contemporary perspective, sharing their beauty with the audience of today.
This is Christine Macel’s vision, one that we are thrilled to see unfold, in total
alignment with the Board’s and the General Management’s strategic vision.”
CEO of Les Arts Décoratifs, Sylvie Corréard is particularly delighted
to collaborate with this esteemed curator: “The first French woman
to run the Venice Biennale five years ago, Christine Macel has managed
an astonishingly impressive career in the world of contemporary art.
The exhibitions shown under her initiative have always displayed a true
sense of inventiveness and openness towards all forms of art, making
a lasting mark on the era. I am especially excited about her nomination
as head of Les Musées des Arts Décoratifs because it revives the original
vision of this institution: to break down the barriers between the arts,
a vision first and foremost advocated by creators themselves.”
According to Christine Macel, this new mission is in perfect keeping with
her long history of promoting interdisciplinarity: “Ever since my first brush
with contemporary art, I’ve been fascinated by how its diversity, its porous
nature, its tendency towards reciprocal contamination, all interact within the
different fields of creation. In this new position as director of Les musées
des Arts Décoratifs, I hope to continue reflecting upon this idea. With the
entire breadth of the institution at our disposal, through an interdisciplinary
approach and in a productive dialog with art, my conviction is steadfast:
the hand, indeed, thinks.”