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News 2013


Séamus Kealy is the new director of the Salzburger Kunstverein as of January 1, 2014

Following an extensive international search, the board of the Salzburger Kunstverein is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director as of January 1, 2014:
Séamus Kealy. The significant number of submissions was particularly pleasing: 50 internationally qualified individuals applied for the position.

Elfrid Wimmer-Repp, President of the Salzburger Kunstverein: “Séamus Kealy impressed us with his enthusiasm, his exciting program ideas for the Salzburger Kunstverein, and his experience with studio spaces. His work as a curator is recognized internationally, and his projects are characterized by diverse collaborations and outstanding contacts. We are certain that our choice will enable us to maintain the Kunstverein’s high standard in the future. We are delighted that we were able to appoint Mr. Kealy to run the Salzburger Kunstverein.” Séamus Kealy is replacing Hemma Schmutz, whose work as director will come to an end after an eight-year period.

At present, Séamus Kealy is co-curating an exhibition on the work of Stan Douglas, which will tour through Europe (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Carré d’Art, Nimes; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; Wiels, Brussels; 2013-2015) and North America, as well as the project “Invisible Violence,” a collaboration between Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Crawford Gallery, Cork, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (2014).

From 2008 to 2013 Séamus Kealy was director and curator of The Model in Sligo, Ireland (themodel.ie), home of the Niland Collection and one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art spaces. The Model was able to develop an international reputation under Mr. Kealy’s leadership. He guided The Model through an important phase of rebuilding and expansion, during which the building’s capacity was increased by a third and new artist studios were added. Furthermore, he founded “The Model Cinema” in cooperation with the Irish Film Institute and the Sligo Film Society as well as an international artist-in-residence program with guests such as Boris Groys, Philippe van Cauteren, Isabel Nolan, Zin Taylor, and Guido van der Werve. His exhibitions in Sligo included Tilo Schulz: Tied Up and Down, How to Consider Force a Privilege, Rabih Mroué, Omer Fast: The Tunnel, An Anatomical Chart of Love Pains, Harun Farocki: Recognition & Tracking, A Series of Navigations, Isabel Nolan: A Hole Into the Future, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: Angelology, Duncan Campbell: Make It New John, Dorm, Up The Walls, Reverse Pedagogy, and Signals in the Dark: Art in the Shadow of War.

Séamus Kealy was born in 1972 in Vanguard, Saskatchewan, Canada and has lived primarily in Ireland and Canada. He completed his art degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver under artists Jeff Wall, Mark Lewis, and Ken Lum. During the 90s he worked for Greenpeace Canada and played a role in protecting the rainforest in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. In the mid-90s he began organizing exhibitions in Vancouver along with his artistic activity. From 2002-2003 Séamus Kealy was an artist-in-residence in Vienna (AIR Program in quartier21, MuseumsQuartier). He completed his diploma in Critical Curatorial Studies at UBC. After this he curated the show Unterspiel in the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver in 2005 (with Hans Schabus, Catrin Bolt, Marlene Haring, monochrom, Patrick Baumüller, Severin Hofmann).

From 2005 to 2008 Séamus Kealy was curator of the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. His text for the exhibition 18:Beckettwas awarded the Curatorial Writing Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries in 2007 – the only award of its kind in Canada. Other shows in the Blackwood Gallery were Signals in the Dark: Art in the Shadow of War, Awareness Muscle, Etienne Zack: Loitering Shadows, Jesse Jones: The Specter and the Sphere, Stéphane Gilot: Cineplastic Campus, and Isabelle Pauwels: Triple Bill (this exhibit won Best Off-Screen Exhibition at the Toronto Images Festival).

Séamus Kealy also worked on shows with artists such as AES+F, Martin Arnold, Maja Bajević, BGL, AA Bronson, Paul Chan, Critical Art Ensemble, Dorothy Cross, Kendell Geers, Gelitin, Thierry Geoffroy, Johan Grimonprez, Gary Hill, Irwin, Renzo Martens, Avi Mograbi, RAQS Media Collective, Anri Sala, Sonja Savić, Gregor Schneider, Sean Snyder, Zin Taylor, Ron Terada, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor.

Mr. Kealy writes for international publications, and has written and published texts about various artists. He has taught art and art history in various roles (most recently HISK in Ghent) and lectures internationally (most recently at University College Cork and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen).