Entertainment & Arts

Chris Dercon to leave Tate Modern

Chris Dercon Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dercon worked during the 1980s as a freelance arts and culture journalist

Chris Dercon is to leave the Tate Modern in 2017 after six years in charge of the museum.

Dercon, an art historian, documentary filmmaker and cultural producer, is to take up a position with Berlin's experimental Volksbuhne Theatre.

He was previously director of the Haus der Kunst (House of art) in Munich and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.

Dercon replaced Vincente Todoli who held the post at Tate for seven years.

In his career as an arts director, he has curated a number of major exhibitions, including one by Turner Prize-winner Anish Kapoor.

Dercon's departure is another high profile loss for Tate after the director of Tate Britain, Penelope Curtis, resigned from her position last month.

Analysis: Will Gompertz, arts editor

For the Tate to lose one of it's museum directors in London may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness.

Not a word many would associate with Sir Nicholas Serota, the fastidious and austere boss of the Tate group of galleries.

But there is little doubt that Chris Dercon's decision to leave Tate Modern for Berlin's experimental Volksbuhne Theatre will be seen as a significant blow to the organisation, in a way - perhaps - that Penelope Curtis's recent resignation as director of Tate Britain was not.

Mr Dercon - a Belgian national who has studied theatre as well as fine art - is a flamboyant character with a knack for presenting popular exhibitions that also please artworld academics. He has made a success of his time at Tate Modern, but might relish the freedom of running an institution where he is unequivocally the man-in-charge.

He is not expected to leave until 2017, once the extension to Tate Modern has been completed. At which point Nicholas Serota will be 70 years o ld and thinking perhaps, it is time for him to try something new after nearly 30 years at the helm.

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