Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, Minister of Culture, on the proposal of Laurent Le Bon, President of the Centre Pompidou, has appointed Xavier Rey as director of the National Museum of Modern Art.
This appointment brings to a close the public application procedure set up with the constitution of a jury. Xavier Rey will take office on 1er october 2021.
A former student of the École normale supérieure, a HEC graduate and a curator from the Institut National du Patrimoine, Xavier Rey began his career at the Musée d'Orsay after studying art history in the late 18th and 19th centuries. He became director of collections, overseeing the museum’s territorial policy. Co-curator of numerous exhibitions, including «Les portraits de Cézanne» in 2017, he was appointed the same year as director of the Marseille Museums, which bring together nineteen sites with a collection of more than 120,000 works. He has ambitious exhibitions such as «Picasso, Voyages imaginaires», «Chefs d'oeuvre de la collection Burrell» (Cantini Museum), «Man Ray et la mode» (Cantini & Château Borely Museum) and «Cinq» by Sophie Calle. In 2019, he designed the exhibition «Par hasard» the first project shared by all the Museums of Marseille. He organizes the 2021 summer season with the exhibitions «Surrealism in American art» and «Jawlensky, the promise of the face».
Attentive to the social role of museums, Xavier Rey carries out many operations with regard to the prevented public, which have earned the Marseille Museums the «Dare the Museum» prize in 2020. He also invested in the rehabilitation of the museum of contemporary art, which is scheduled to reopen at the end of the year.
In dialogue with the components of the Centre (Bpi, Ircam and Culture and Creation Department) and all the directorates, Xavier Rey’s mission will be to write the scientific and cultural project of the museum that must guide the major work to come. For this purpose, as soon as he takes office, he will conduct experimental and innovative projects in terms of museography, cultural offer and partnerships with the teams of the museum and other departments, building on the innovation and multidisciplinary DNA of the Centre Pompidou. Built on the generosity of which he proposes to make a compass for the National Museum of Modern Art, Xavier Rey’s project aims to make the MNAM an institution and a collection that will serve the entire territory and the public.
Xavier Rey succeeds Bernard Blistène, whose minister wishes to salute the action during the seven years during which he managed the museum after having been its deputy director, and more broadly throughout an exemplary and fruitful career for the institutions he served.