PATRICK CHARPENEL: THE FACE BEHIND EL MUSEO DEL BARRIO
In the middle of Museo del Barrio’s (MB) renovation and professionalization of Las Galerías (Galleries) and El Teatro (Heckscher Theater) carried out since November of the past year, this institution delegated the general direction to Patrick Charpenel. Figure with trajectory, Charpenel assumed the direction of the museum located in New York focused on Latin American art, so to transmit from his management his extensive curatorial career in relation to Latin American contemporary art.
Originally from Mexico, Patrick Charpenel is a self-taught philosopher and has established himself as an influential voice within the discourse on contemporary Hispanic and Latino art. Before assuming the direction of the Museo del Barrio, he was in charge of the management of the prestigious Jumex Museum in Mexico City.
The appointment of the Mexican specialist as leader of the MB team aims to broaden the range of curatorial experiences of the museum on a professional, aesthetic and strategic level. Charpenel has produced exhibitions in the most important cities of the American continent exploring the complexities and cultural forms of Hispanic and Latin artistic expression, thus demonstrating her commitment and knowledge regarding the understanding of the contemporary Latin American scene.
According to members of the New York museum, the new director has two specific goals: on the one hand to expand the local, national and international stature of the institution in the contemporary scene, and, on the other hand to develop the educational program so to achieve a first class level. Likewise, within the framework of the galleries renovation, which in itself imply a professionalization the exhibition spaces, the MB seeks through Charpenel to establish its financial priorities and strengthen the necessary efforts for the collection of funds. “Patrick Charpenel is part of a brilliant new generation of curators with global vision. At the same time, his love and respect for regional history and concern for social justice are particularly relevant as he prepares to lead El Museo del Barrio into the twenty-first century”, argued Susana Torruella Leval, Director Emerita of the museum.
Regarding his commitment to the promotion of Latin American art in the world, Charpenel explained: "The economic, political and social context of Latin America has marked the sensitivity of our artists, whose productions have a universal interest but in a few cases constitute the global narrative of international art. " Based on this conviction, it is undoubted where the new Director General of the Museo del Barrio is looking.
Reopening of the museum
On September 13, as a reason to celebrate the completion of the work, the Museo del Barrio makes a reopening with two parallel exhibitions: Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography, collective exhibition curated by Carmen Ramos, and Liliana Porter: Other Situations, organized by the SCAD Museum and curated by Humberto Moro.