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Duo selected as new leadership of Saskatoon’s Remai Modern hailed as ‘innovators’

Duo selected as new leadership of Remai Modern art gallery
Partners Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh have been selected as Remai Modern’s new co-executive director and CEO. Remai Modern / Supplied

A new chapter is set to begin at Remai Modern.

The art museum in downtown Saskatoon has found its new leadership team with partners Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, who will join as co-executive director and CEO.

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Remai Modern said there were 44 applicants during an extensive search by its board of directors.

“Aileen and Johan are innovators with a growing reputation for their unique and collaborative approach to museum management,” board chair Doug Matheson said in a press release.

“In addition to their respected work as curators, they bring valuable strategic, financial, human resources and fundraising background to the organization. We are thrilled to welcome them to Saskatoon and begin Remai Modern’s exciting new chapter.”

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Click to play video 'Power of art propelling Remai Modern in 2nd year' Power of art propelling Remai Modern in 2nd year
Power of art propelling Remai Modern in 2nd year – Oct 18, 2019

The Canadian/Swedish duo most recently led Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand as co-director and chief curator.

“Writing from the kitchen table during our sixth week in a small cottage in New Plymouth, New Zealand, we’re dreaming of the moment when we can gather again and be nourished by art and build a new life with the community in Saskatoon,” read a statement from the duo.

“We identify strongly with the artist-centred spirit of Remai Modern, the commitment to reimagining modernisms, and dynamic collections development.”

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Burns hails from Toronto and earned her master of arts in critical and curatorial studies from Columbia University in New York. Swedish curator Johan Lundh holds both bachelor and master’s of fine arts degrees from Konstfack University College.

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The couple is expected to take over their new roles mid-summer, officials said.

Lynn McMaster has been interim executive director and CEO since April 2019.

Remai Modern is currently closed to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus but said it hopes to re-open to customers as soon as it’s safe to do so.