TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) today announces that Xiaoyu Weng has been appointed Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art. Currently The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Weng assumes the role this summer pending approval of authorization to work in Canada.
“Xiaoyu’s uniquely international experience and vision, and her longstanding engagement in expanding the art historical canon will help us further our goals of leading global conversations from Toronto. She will also help us put Canadian artists on the global stage and shape the presentation of our Collection in dynamic new ways,” says Julian Cox, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, AGO. “In her curatorial work and scholarship Xiaoyu has explored with insight and sensitivity the many ways that difference sustains and enriches culture. We look forward to working with, and learning from her.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the AGO and its passionate team at a pivotal moment when museums are actively reinventing themselves,” says Xiaoyu Weng. “I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues at the AGO towards our shared goals of foregrounding the most urgent artistic voices to growing audiences both locally and globally, and creating powerful and meaningful ways to write and re-write the stories of art. A diverse and vibrant city, Toronto is home to many dynamic art and culture communities. I can’t wait to connect and collaborate with them.”
As head of the modern and contemporary department at the AGO, Weng will lead the team in creating exceptional art experiences to welcome diverse audiences and envision new ways to grow the AGO Collection of Modern and Contemporary art, its profile and impact. The Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art role has been an endowed position since 2015, in recognition of the Rapps’ longstanding leadership, advocacy, and support of the AGO, its programs and collection.
The AGO’s collection of modern and contemporary art comprises more than 4800 works spanning from 1960 to the present, reflecting global developments in artistic practice across all media, including moving image, painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, and installation art. Recent acquisitions include Haegue Yang’s Woven Currents - Confluence of Parallels (2020), Ragnar Kjartansson Death is Elsewhere (2019), and Sarah Sze’s large-scale installation Disappearing Act (2012).
ABOUT XIAOYU WENG
Born and raised in Shanghai, Weng holds an MA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and a BA from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. During her tenure at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Weng spearheaded The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. She co-curated the acclaimed exhibitions Tales of Our Time (2016–17) and One Hand Clapping (2018), featuring artworks by 13 internationally renowned artists and artist collectives, including Cao Fei and Samson Young. The initiative commissioned 27 new artworks, all of which entered the museum’s permanent collection. Weng’s curatorial practice has focused on the impact of globalization, identity, and decolonization frameworks, as well as knowledge and aesthetic productions at the intersection of art and technology. Currently, Weng is organizing the upcoming exhibition Christian Nyampeta: Sometimes It Was Beautiful (2021).
Weng’s networks extend across North America, Asia and Europe. In 2018-19, Weng served as the Curator of the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, transforming a former military factory and an abandoned theater into dynamic contemporary art spaces. The biennial received the prestigious award of the Exhibition of the Year in 2019, presented by The Art Newspaper Russia. Her other recent shows include Miriam Cahn and Claudia Martínez Garay: Ten Thousand Things at Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China; Neither Black / Red / Yellow Nor Woman at Times Art Center Berlin, Germany; Soft Crash at Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Italy. Before joining the Guggenheim, Weng was Director of Asia Programs at the Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco and Paris, where she organized exhibitions and programs such as Robert Zhao Renhui: Flies Prefer Yellow (2014), Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries: Pacific Rim (2013), Ming Wong: Making Chinatown (2013), and Ho Tzu Nyen: The Cloud of Unknowing (2012).
In addition to her curatorial work, Weng is an active writer, editor and educator. She has written extensively on contemporary art for various periodicals, including Mousse, e-flux journal, Flash Art, ArtReview, and Artforum and is the author of numerous essays and catalogues including One Hand Clapping (2018) and Tales of Our Time (2016). Weng is Guest Editor of Heichi Magazine, the leading bi-lingual digital forum for visual culture exchange in the Chinese-speaking world and internationally. She has also taught at New York University, CCS Bard College, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Weng is a recipient of Asian Cultural Council’s Starr Foundation Fellowship.
ABOUT THE AGO
Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, including solo exhibitions and acquisitions by diverse and underrepresented artists from around the world. In 2019, the AGO launched a bold new initiative designed to make the museum even more welcoming and accessible with the introduction of free admission for anyone 25 years and under and a $35 annual pass. Visit AGO.ca to learn more.
The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.
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Andrea-Jo Wilson; Manager, Public Relations
Antoine Tedesco; Director, Communications