The Fundació Per Amor a l’Art (FPAA) presented Sandra Guimarães, the new artistic director of its Bombas Gens art centre, at a press conference this morning.
Guimarães takes over from Nuria Enguita, who is leaving the institution to pursue other professional projects. This is the beginning of a new phase at Bombas Gens, about which the vice president of FPAA, Susana Lloret, has given more details: “The Fundació Per Amor a l’Art is a living project. That means that it evolves and changes, but not just in any way, because its purpose is still very defined: to share the Per Amor a l’Art Collection and sensitize as many people as possible by connecting them with art. In search of that dual purpose; consolidating what is essential and opening ourselves to new horizons, today we present a new phase and a new person who will propel it.
According to Lloret, the new artistic director of Bombas Gens arrives at a time when the art centre enjoys a recognized level of quality and prestige as a result of the excellent management of Enguita that it must maintain, while seeking to reach new audiences and expand its international projection. This will be the main challenge Guimarães will face. “She has proven experience, a long history, an international network, the ability to offer new and stimulating readings of the Per Amor a l’Art Collection, and also the magic ingredient: great enthusiasm. With all this, she will do a fantastic job”, she added.
Sandra Guimarães has the endorsement of the director of the Art Area of FPAA, Vicent Todolí, who, as he explained, has followed her solid career from the beginning: “Sandra began her career doing internships at Serralves when I was director of that museum. She then continued as curator and, when she went to Remai Modern in Canada, I was part of the advisory council. There she launched the museum program and I really liked the presentation she made of the collection. I was also very impressed with the Rosa Barba exhibition that she curated… By saying this I mean that I have followed her career closely, that I know her work well, and that thanks to all her accumulated experience in various institutions I think that she is the ideal person to continue the work started by Nuria Enguita”.
Vicent Todolí, Susana Lloret and Sandra Guimarães at Bombas Gens Centre d’Art
In her first public appearance, Sandra Guimarães shared her motivation to lead the Valencian art centre: “It is an immense privilege for me to accept this position. Bombas Gens has been one of the great successes of recent years in Spain and abroad. I thank José Luis Soler and Susana Lloret for their vision, their determination to serve art and artists, and to honor the direct experience of their work. The collection that has been created with the advice of Vicent Todolí is very stimulating and it denotes a high degree of demand. And the remarkable program developed under the direction of Nuria Enguita is quite a challenge”.
Guimarães takes charge of Bombas Gens at a time when, in her view, museums should act and show why they are necessary more than ever. In this sense, she has stated that she is looking forward to work with the team of the Valencian art center to continue making this effort, enabling the execution of ambitious projects, providing transformative experiences in order to have a museum that is inclusive, artist-centered, active and that develops research at various levels. “I am also indebted to the inspiring artists that I have worked with over the years. I am very happy to bring that experience to Bombas Gens and I look forward to the challenge of taking the institution to the next chapter in its history”, she concluded.
Sandra Guimarães’s (Porto) career in the visual arts spans around 20 years, and includes positions as Curator at Serralves Museum (Porto, Portugal) 1998-2010, as well as, founding Director of Programs & Chief Curator at Remai Modern (Saskatoon, Canada) 2015-2019. In 2018, she was a member of the ScotiaBank nominators for the Award Photography Prize 2018, in Toronto, Canada.
At Serralves she worked with Vicent Todolí (founding Director of the museum) and she organized exhibitions of contemporary artists, such as Alvess, Artur Barrio, Thomas Hirschhorn, Cristina Iglesias, Barry Le Va, and Dan Graham, amongst others. She has also co-curated the exhibition “The 80’s. A Topology”, with works by artists such as Miroslaw Balka, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Heimo Zobernig, Juan Muñoz, Cristina Iglesias, Julião Sarmento, Jimmie Durham, Thomas Schütte, Rosemarie Trockle, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Luc Tuymans, Eugenio Dittborn, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, Robert Gober, Tony Cragg, Matt Mullican and David Hammons amongst others.
At Remai Modern, she co-curated the pre-launch program of the museum, as well as the museum’s inaugural exhibition, ”Field Guide”. Major projects anchored the exhibition, including: “What Can I learn from you. What can you learn from me” (Critical Workshop), first “Presence and Production” in Canada by Thomas Hirschhorn, ”Faces of Picasso, the collection selected by Ryan Gander”, by Ryan Gander, and “Determined by the River” by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater. The exhibition included around 80 artists such as Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall, John Baldessari, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Ahlam Shibli, Haegue Yang, Raqs Media Collective, R.H.Quatman, Rosemarie Trockel, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Kuri, Walid Raad, Luc Tuymans, Francis Alys, Hito Steyerl, Kara Uzelman, Emily Carr and Daniel Steegman Mangrané, amongst others.
She has also curated solo exhibitions by Rosa Barba, Rikrit Tiravanija, and Joan Jonas, and organised the exhibition by Jimmie Durham “At the Center of the World”, with the Hammer Museum in partnership with the Whitney Museum in New York, and the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis.
Her background includes a Master in Art History and Archeology (specialisation in Modern and Contemporary art), as well as a Master in Cultural Management, both from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).