Chus Martínez

Head of the Institute Art Gender Nature

Head of the Bachelor’s Program, Curatorial Director of der TANK

Chus Martínez is head of the Institute Art Gender Nature FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel. She was the expedition leader of The Current, a project initiated by TBA21–Academy (2018–2020) and from 2021 she is the artistic director of Ocean Space, Venice, a space initiated by TBA21–Academy. The Current is also the inspiration behind Art is Ocean, a series of seminars and conferences held at the Institute Art Gender Nature which examines the role of artists in the conception of a new experience of nature. At the Institute Art Gender Nature she is currently leading the research project The Womxn’s Factor, on the role of education in enhancing women’s equality in the arts.

Born in Spain, Chus Martínez has a background in philosophy and art history. She previously worked as chief curator at El Museo Del Barrio, New York. For dOCUMENTA(13) (2012) she was head of department, and a member of the Core Agent Group. Other past positions include chief curator at MACBA, Barcelona (2008–2011), director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–2008) and artistic director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2002–2005). She curated the National Pavilion of Catalonia at the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015) as well as the National Pavilion of Cyprus in 2005. She also worked on the Istanbul Biennial (2015), Carnegie International (2010) and the Bienal de São Paulo (2010). During her tenure as director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, she curated a solo exhibition of Wilhelm Sasnal and a series of group exhibitions including Pensée Sauvage and The Great Game To Come. She also founded the Deutsche Börse Residency Program for international artists, art writers and curators. While at MACBA, Martínez curated the Thomas Bayrle retrospective, an Otolith Group monographic show, and Are you ready for TV?, an exhibition devoted to television. In 2008 Martínez was the curator of The Unanimous Life, the Deimantas Narkevicius retrospective exhibition at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, which traveled to other major European museums.

Among her recent projects are the exhibitions, Claudia Comte. After Nature, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2021); Metamorphosis. Let Everything Happen to You, Castello di Rivoli (2018); El Futuro, a special curated section at ARCO, Madrid (2018); John Akomfrah’s Purple, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2018); La Fin de Babylon. Mich wundert, dass ich so fröhlich bin!, KölnSkulptur #9, Skulpturenpark, Cologne (2017–2019); Idiosincracy. Anchovies Dream of an Olive Mausoleum, a one-year exhibition, Helga de Alvear Foundation in Cáceres (2016); Undisturbed Solitude, a group show at Kunsthaus Hamburg (2016) and The Metabolic Age (2015–2016) at MALBA in Buenos Aires.

Chus Martínez is also the chief curator at der TANK, the Institute’s exhibition space in Basel where she oversees a series of specially commissioned exhibitions having included Raffaela Naldi Rossano (2019), Cecilia Bengolea (2019), Teresa Solar (2018), Eduardo Navarro (2017), Ingela Ihrman (2017), Mathilde Rosier (2016) and Julieta Aranda (2016). Martínez lectures and writes regularly, including numerous catalogue texts and critical essays, and is a regular contributor to Artforum among other international journals. She recently edited the publication The Wild Book of Inventions (2020) and together with Julieta Aranda and Markus Reymann e-Flux Journal #112 (October 2020). Corona Tales. Let Life Happen to You(2020), a collection of stories from the two previous generations of her family in the north of Spain, was published by Lenz Press, Milan, in 2020.