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New faces at the ICA

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Will Gompertz | 11:10 UK time, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Out with the old and in with the new and unfamiliar. That's been the abiding spirit of the ICA and continues today, at least when it come to staff.

Gregor Muir


This morning Gregor Muir was announced as the beleaguered institution's new director. He takes over at a time when the Mall-based arts centred is a shadow of its former self, having withered while others flourished in a decade of heightened interest in contemporary art.

Gregor's warm charm, wry humour and self-confidence will be a tonic in itself. As will his keen curatorial eye and bulging address book of A-list artworld figures. He joins a new top team, headed-up by Alison Myners as chair.

The job has been called a poisoned chalice by some, but Gregor is a canny fellow. He'll know that should he succeed in turning the ICA around (and I very much hope he does) he will be hailed as a key figure in a new generation of arts leaders. And if he fails, he can say the place was beyond repair and go back to a cushy job in a private gallery.

We'll have to wait and see what the future holds, but I do think it is a smart move to appoint an experienced curator into this role, especially one who has worked in both the public and private sectors. A good start.

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