Lars Nittve and 23PINE


Lars Nittve is the Strategic Curatorial Adviser for the 23PINE team. In close collaboration with the founding members Jörgen Ringstrand and Stefan Engström, he will help guide the project towards new and exciting creative heights and carefully develop the 23PINE collection of photography and photographers. The aim is clear – to set a new standard for highly accessible, high-quality photographic prints. Mr Nittve will also be an important and active part of forthcoming exhibitions, special projects, books and much more. Lars Nittve is a partner at 23PINE.

Lars is a former museum director, curator, art critic and writer. He was the founding director of Tate Modern in London, former director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, founding director of Rooseum – Center for Contemporary Art – in Malmö, Sweden, and director of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark.

Lars was most recently the executive director of M+, the innovative museum for visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, and is currently acting as an external advisor. Lars will work closely with the creative director of 23PINE, Jörgen Ringstrand, to develop the artists within 23PINE.

Lars began working as a senior art critic for the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, in Stockholm, and contributed regularly to Artforum, in New York City. In 1986, Lars was appointed chief curator at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, where he curated a large number of high-profile exhibitions – among them "Hilma af Klint" and the seminal "Implosion – a Postmodern Perspective". From 1990 to 1995, Lars was the founding director of Rooseum – Center for Contemporary Art – in Malmö, Sweden, where he organized the whole exhibition program, including surveys of "Susan Rothenberg", "Allan McCollum","Sherrie Levine" and "Andreas Gursky".

In July 1995, Lars was appointed as the director of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, and in 1998, he was named the first director of Tate Modern, London, which opened in May 2000 and was a big success.

In the end of 2001, he went back as director of Moderna Museet, the national Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. He co-curated the thematic exhibition Fashination in 2004 about the dialogue between art and fashion over the last ten years. Other exhibitions include "Time and Place: Los Angeles 1957–1968" (2008); "Anthony McCall" (2009) and "Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting" (2010). In 2010, Lars left his post as director of the Moderna Museet after having served the maximum length anyone is permitted to hold the post: nine years.

The same year Lars was appointed the executive director of Hong Kong’s M+, and after five years of incredible, hard work, he decided to find his replacement and work as an external advisor. Or as Art Asia Pacific writes:

"Duncan Pescod, CEO of WKCDA, made an official statement, While we are very sorry to see Lars go, we have to respect his decision to leave after spending five years in Hong Kong.” Pescod added, “He has made an immense contribution to the Authority and we have ensured he will continue to be available to provide advice and support in the role of External Advisor.”

Previously founding director of Tate Modern (1998-2001) and later director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2001-2010), Nittve gave M+ the stability, leadership and vision that was needed to the steer the contemporary art museum, which is just one component of the enormous arts hub with an earmarked budget of HKD 21.6 billion (USD 2.78 billion).

During his five years at M+, Nittve managed to instill a professional museum culture for an institution that is not due to open officially until 2019—although its curators have produced exhibitions and events since 2011. Among his many accomplishments, Nittve grew an impressive curatorial team, which attracted talent from major international museums and institutions around the world.

He also managed to secure major donations valued in the range of HKD 1.4 billion (USD 180 million), including the majority of Swiss collector Uli Sigg’s comprehensive collection of contemporary Chinese art. The entire collection of M+ has grown to over 4,300 works during his tenure.

Nittve reflected to ArtAsiaPacific that, 'among an amazing number of memorable moments, the day in 2012 when Uli Sigg decided to trust the M+ project to such an extent [that] he donated almost his entire collection of Chinese contemporary art to us must come out on top!'

In an email to friends and colleagues, Nittve began, 'It is with a heavy heart I am sending you the enclosed press release regarding my decision not to extend my contract with M+ after it ends in January 2016.' It remains to be seen if M+ will endure more departures with the loss of its visionary director.

We are very happy to have Lars Nittve onboard at 23PINE, and to work with the artist and curation for 23PINE.