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Alexander Montague-Sparey announced as Fotografiska London’s curator

Diva by Emma Svensson, 2016 © Emma Svensson

A new book and new curator Alexander Montague-Sparey announced as Swedish institution Fotografiska gets ready to open its London - and New York - outposts

Swedish organisation Fotografiska has announced Alexander Montague-Sparey as the chief curator of their new gallery in London. He will oversee the exhibition programme for all seven spaces in the London venue, which will open in Whitechapel later this year.

Montague-Sparey is an independent curator who has worked with a variety of private clients including collectors, art fairs and museums. He holds a Masters Degree in Art History from the University of Oxford, and is a photography specialist.

“Fotografiska London’s seven exhibition spaces will allow for the display of some of the most cutting-edge and accomplished international photo and video artists,” he told BJP.

“The venue in Stockholm has become one of the foremost international spaces dedicated to contemporary photography in the world. I look forward to advancing the discussion in this state of the art space, in London’s most exciting and creative postcode.”

Along with the 89,000 sq ft space opening in London, Fotografiska is also opening a gallery in New York, and already runs a 59,000 sq ft photography centre in Stockholm. To accompany the opening of its new venues, and to celebrate its eighth anniversary in Stockholm, the company is launching a new book, The Eye, in London on 18 May, which gathers a selection of images from exhibitions staged at Fotografiska over its first eight years.

Café Lehmitz by Anders Petersen, 1967 – 1970 © Anders Petersen / Courtesy of Jean-Kenta Cauthier

Fotografiska was founded by brothers Jan and Per Broman, whose father was a printer for Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, and who both went on to work in photography. My brother was a photographer, and I worked in a photography lab for many years,” Jan Broman told BJP earlier this year.

“Our appreciation of photography was strong and we understood that there was no space in this city that really brought the biggest photographers to Stockholm, and so this is what we wanted to do.”

Fotografiska has faced criticism for its use of the term ‘museum’, as it doesn’t have a substantial collection or archive of photography, and doesn’t undertake wider curatorial research. But it has also attracted praise for opening up photography to new audiences in Sweden, staging major exhibitions by Annie Leibovitz, Joel-Peter Witkin, Anders Petersen, Sarah Moon, Viviane Sassen, and Christer Strömholm without state subsidies.

London Fotografiska will be housed on the lower ground floors of the eight-storey, former Aldgate Union building, which is being converted by Fletcher Priest architects into The White Chapel Building.

www.fotografiska.com The Eye by Fotografiska is published by teNeues, priced €80 http://teneues-books.com/the-photography-review-by-fotografiska-1 

Read BJP’s previous articles on Fotografiska London here:
www.bjp-online.com/2018/01/fotografiskainterview/
www.bjp-online.com/2017/08/fotografiska-to-open-a-london-museum-of-photography

Take Off by Roger Ballen, 2012 © Courtesy of Roger Ballen

Die Ordnung by Johan Willner, 2006 © Johan Willner

Damien Hirst by Anton Corbijn, 2011 © Anton Corbijn

Anastasia by Inez & Vinoodh, 1994 © Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Courtesy Gagosian

Untitled #16 from The Birthday Party © Vee Speers

Radioactive Cats by Sandy Skoglund, 1980 © Sandy Skoglund

Altered Image, Andy with Black Hair, Holding a Mirror, New York by Christopher Makos, 1981 © Christopher Makos

Holding Rebecca by Cooper & Gorfer, 2017 © Cooper & Gorfer