David Barro, new director of Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Palma

David Barro, new director of Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Palma
bonart palm - 16/04/24

The Board of Trustees of the Fundació Es Baluard Museu d'Art Contemporani de Palma has confirmed the appointment of David Barro as director of the museum, ratifying the candidacy proposed by the Evaluation Committee of the director competition.

The competition for the recruitment of the director of the museum was called last December 14, 2023 and a total of 20 applications were submitted. It should be remembered that the jury was formed by Guillermo Solana, director of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Madrid, the writer and art critic Fernando Castro Flórez, the independent curator Neus Cortés, the artist Bernardí Roig and the curator and cultural manager Alicia ventura

Director David Barro explained in a press conference that this new stage of the museum "must be one of consolidating its uniqueness and its status as a reference museum. For this it must combine the presence of unquestionable names of international contemporary art with Balearic artists who have a rigorous career, regardless of their generational status. Es Baluard must consolidate these trajectories and manage to put them in context, at the same time that it takes the pulse of the present from its exhibitions, activities and public programs, but above all from its own collection, which that exhibiting itself as such, must be the main generator of theory of relevance, conforming theses exhibitions accompanied by publications capable of becoming paradigmatic.

I don't want a museum that imposes a unique point of view, although it does have its own voice, personality, and generate opinion, that is able to tell stories and offer the public tools to make their own history of the art, so that the visitor leaves asking new questions. In this sense, I would love for Es Baluard to be unpredictable, to manage to create interconnections between art and the world around it, as well as with other spheres of creation and touch different generations".

As for its programming , Barro explained that it will begin at the end of January 2025 and that it is not time to name names, but he did point out "that the programming of the first three years will be articulated through a trilogy that will reveal itself while generating its own narratives and theories. The only thing I can reveal right now is the title of this trilogy, which will be Nachleben, a concept between "survival" and "survival" that we will apply to artistic disciplines."

With regard to the objectives set for the museum, he warned that there are many if you want to achieve the main one: "which is to be an indisputable reference museum for national and international contemporary art". For this, he pointed out, "we have to offer quality programming that gives us cultural prestige beyond contemporary art, something that is only possible with accessible and transversal communication and a solid positioning strategy. I understand the museum far beyond its walls and I come to work for the entire Balearic context. I am convinced that the success of a museum is measured by many things that cannot be objectified, but as a director I set myself the task of acting as a mediator with the context so that the museum expands its mission".

David Barro takes over from Imma Prieto (October 2019 – August 2023) and joins with a four-year contract, extendable for two more years and with the possibility of extending for successive years at the end of this six-year period.

Barro has a 25-year career in the artistic and cultural sector leading institutions and projects. With extensive experience in management, he has developed a career linked to the world of contemporary art and design, as a curator of exhibitions, as an editor, as a writer and as an artistic director.

He has been director of the DIDAC Foundation, managing director of the Luis Seoane Foundation, advisor to the Barrié Foundation and responsible for its International Contemporary Painting Collection. He has also been the artistic director of events such as the Festival of Sustainable Artistic Action SOS 4.8 in Murcia; Look Up! Natural Porto Art Show in Porto; or the Espacio Atlántico fair in Vigo. In 2023 he was curator of the guest country of the Porto Design Biennale and served - as a member of the Cooperativa Performa - as co-director of the first four editions of Plataforma. Festival of Performing Arts in Santiago de Compostela. He has also been the artistic director of the first three editions of MadBlue Summit, the summit of culture, science and innovation for sustainable development in Madrid, distinguished as an event of exceptional public interest by the Government of Spain. Editor and founder of the magazine DARDOmagazine, since 2018 he has worked for the Galician Innovation Agency (Junta de Galicia), advising the Design Program for Innovation and Sustainability 2024 to incorporate design and artistic processes in the corporate world.

As a curator of exhibitions, he has held more than a hundred collective and individual shows of renowned artists and his academic career highlights having been a professor at the University of Porto, as well as the University's Master of Advanced Studies de Salamanca, being responsible for the subject of "Painting and Sculpture in the 20th Century". David Barro has also worked as an art critic for El Cultural de El Mundo and other publications such as Lápiz magazine; he has been director of the Portuguese magazine [W]art and the magazine Arte y parte. Writer of theoretical essays on contemporary visual culture, he was a member of the first boards of directors of the Spanish Institute of Contemporary Art (IAC) and is a member of the Association of Contemporary Art Directors in Spain (ADACE).


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