Martin Clark appointed as new Director of Camden Arts Centre

Press Release
Thursday 4 March 2017

Clark to be the Centre’s first new director in 27 years

Camden Arts Centre is pleased to announce that Martin Clark, currently Director of Bergen Kunsthall, has been appointed the new Director of Camden Arts Centre.

The appointment by the Centre’s Board of Trustees follows the decision by its current director, Jenni Lomax, to step down in August 2017 after 27 years at the helm. Martin Clark will take up his new post in September 2017.

Martin Clark has been Director of Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, since 2013 during which time he has championed an ambitious programme of international contemporary art. Previously he was Artistic Director of Tate St Ives (2007–13), Exhibitions Curator at Arnolfini, Bristol (2004–7) and Curator and Exhibitions Tutor at Kent Institute of Art and Design (now University College of the Creative Arts) (2002–5).

Jenni Lomax said:
"I am delighted that Martin has been appointed as my successor. It is evident from his impressive track record at Tate St Ives and at Bergen Kunsthall that his approach to working with artists and to education is perfectly in tune with the ethos of Camden Arts Centre. I shall look forward to handing over the reins to Martin and to seeing him build on the legacy to take this very special institution on into the future."

Martin Clark said:
“Camden Arts Centre is one of the most internationally respected and much-loved galleries in the UK, it’s a huge honour to take over as director there later this year. Jenni Lomax leaves an extraordinary legacy, not just in terms of the quality and reputation of the exhibition programme, but also her work transforming the way we think about education, audiences, and supporting art and artists at every level. I’m very excited to build on those values and that vision, which feels more vital and relevant than ever.”

John Gill, Chair of Camden Arts Centre's Board of Trustees, said:
“I am delighted that Martin Clark has accepted the board's invitation to join Camden Arts Centre as its new director. He has over 15 years' experience of working in and directing public galleries both in the UK and abroad, experience that will equip him well for the challenges and opportunities of leading one of London's most respected galleries. His record as curator, writer and lecturer, and his understanding of the Centre's role within the community, as a place to see and to make art, recommend him to the board and staff alike as an ambitious leader who will take the Centre forward, respecting its past while forging an innovative and exciting future.”

Petter Snare, Chair of Bergen Kunsthall’s Board of Trustees, said:
“We congratulate Camden Arts Centre on their new director! We’re of course sad that Martin Clark will be leaving Bergen Kunsthall, but we are very happy for him and I wish to thank him for his work over the last four years. It is a sign of Bergen Kunsthall’s continued recognition that once again we are supplying a leading international art institution with a new director.”

– End

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Notes to editors:

Martin Clark (b.1976) has been Director of Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, since 2013. Previously he was Artistic Director of Tate St Ives (2007–13), Curator of Exhibitions at Arnolfini, Bristol (2005–07) and Curator and Exhibitions Tutor at Kent Institute of Art and Design (now University College of the Creative Arts) (2002–5). In 2016 he was Artistic Director for Art Sheffield.

Over the past 16 years he has curated and organised over 70 exhibitions, including solo shows by Emily Wardill, James Richards, Simon Starling, Moyra Davey, Alex Katz, Steven Claydon, Black Audio Film Collective, Hannah Sawtell, Giorgio Griffa, Fredrik Værslev, The Otolith Group, Jean-Michel Wicker, Linder Sterling, Adam Chodzko, Deimantas Narkevicius, Michael Stevenson, Brian Griffiths and Lucy McKenzie; as well as group exhibitions including The Noing Uv It, Bergen Kunsthall (2015), The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art, Tate St Ives (2009), and Pale Carnage, Arnolfini, Bristol and DCA, Dundee (2007).

He programmed and curated the first UK solo exhibitions of Albert Oehlen, Heimo Zobernig, Simon Fujiwara and Hans Peter Feldmann, and the first institutional exhibitions in the UK by Carol Bove, Lily van der Stokker, Bojan Sarcevic and Eileen Quinlan. The exhibitions he curated of Mark Titchner (2006) and Dexter Dalwood (2010) were both nominated for the Turner Prize. He has also programmed and curated exhibitions of important British modernist artists, including Barbara Hepworth, William Scott, Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon, Marlow Moss and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Jenni Lomax has been the Director of Camden Arts Centre, London, since 1990, where she has established a forward thinking programme of international exhibitions, artists’ residencies and education projects, all of which have artists and their ideas at the core. In 1993 she was awarded the Arts Council of England/Prudential Award for Individual Achievement in the Arts and in 1994 Camden Arts Centre was awarded the Prudential Award for the Arts (for Excellence and Creativity, Innovation and Accessibility in the Arts). She was awarded the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007 and received an OBE for her services to the Visual Arts in 2009. Before Camden Arts Centre, Lomax developed and headed up the Community Education and Public Programmes at the Whitechapel Art Gallery during the 1980s. Throughout her career she has been involved in an advisory capacity with many arts, education and charitable organisations and has been a member of selection and judging panels for numerous awards and exhibitions including the Turner Prize, Arts Foundation Award, the Jerwood Drawing Prize and the Nissan Art Award.

Information about Camden Arts Centre:

Camden Arts Centre is an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation. Over the past 27 years the Centre has introduced London audiences to significant artists from abroad; Karin ‘Mamma’ Andersson, Marlene Dumas, Mary Heilmann, Hilma af Klint, Kerry James Marshall, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Kara Walker are among those whose exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre were the first in the capital.

The Centre has presented reassessments of important artists such as Bas Jan Ader, Hanne Darboven, Peter Lanyon, Kenneth and Mary Martin, Pino Pascali, Franciszka and Stefan Themerson and Shelagh Wakely. Numerous UK artists who’ve exhibited at the Centre such as Martin Creed, Emma Hart, Runa Islam, Yinka Shonibare, David Shrigley and Simon Starling have gone on to receive international acclaim. Its residency programme has also seen notable artists including Enrico David, Anne Hardy, Roger Hiorns, Mike Nelson, Eva Rothschild and Nicole Wermers.

Under Lomax’s directorship, education has been placed at the heart of the programme. Working closely with contemporary artists, the Centre has developed a variety of innovative projects through which people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to engage with the process of making art.

Camden Arts Centre is a Grade II listed premises, originally constructed as Hampstead Central Library and designed by the architect Arnold Taylor. Hampstead Arts Centre (renamed Camden Arts Centre in 1967) was created in 1965 providing the local community with classes in painting, life drawing, pottery, printing and basic design. The first exhibition was held a year after the Centre was established. In 2004 a £4.5m refurbishment designed by Tony Fretton Architects greatly enhanced the building with the addition of the café, garden and full visitor access.