Omar Kholeif takes on role at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

​Omar Kholeif, a curator at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, has been named as the new Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago.
Mr Kholeif arrives at the museum with a sterling reputation, with curatorial credits at Whitechapel including “Fiona Banner: Stamp out Photographie,” “James Richards: To Replace a Minute’s Silence with a Minute’s Applause,” and “Emily Jacir: Europa.”
Kholeif, who was born in Cairo, has also previously been Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and Curator at FACT, with much of his work focusing on issues of narrative and geography within the fast-paced world of contemporary culture.
As well as an unquestionable passion for art, Kholeif has written for various publications, including The Guardian, Wired and the Huffington Post, while also penning a number of books.
He was even voted one of the 50 most power people in the Middle Eastern art world by Canvas Magazine and one of the 100 most powerful people in the art world by ArtLyst and one of Artsy’s eight curators to watch.
Yet Kholeif, who was also responsible for Cyprus’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale and the Armory Show’s Focus section, seems ready for a new challenge and sees Chicago as a great opportunity to learn more about what he views as one of the great American cities.
He told the Chicago Tribune: “I have always been captivated by Chicago’s history. It really is the great American city, a seat of industrialisation; I have been fascinated by its topography, its status as a port, its architecture which has served as a blueprint for American cities.
“But of course, also, its radical social and political histories, its artistic community, which I have long admired from afar, and the incredible commitment that the city has shown in the realm of culture, which is made manifest through its diverse institutions.
He added that the MCA had managed to place itself at the heart of the city’s vibrant culture, describing it as “a beacon not only for art but for culture in all of its forms”.
“When Michael (Darling, chief curator) and Madeleine (Grynsztejn, director) introduced me to the museum’s mission, I was immediately sold. I can’t wait to get started now.”
The MCA has is sure to be excited about the appointment, while art enthusiasts from across the US and further afield sure to keep an eager eye on Mr Kholeif’s progress over the coming months.
He takes up his new role on November 23rd.