This lively conversation with Stuart Shave and Sarah McCrory was recorded in London shortly before the UK formally exited the European Union on 31 January. Shave (the founder and owner of Modern Art gallery in London) and McCrory (the inaugural director of the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art in London, which opened in 2018) talk to host Charlotte Burns about a range of topics, from “Google curating” to the environmental crisis; from the #MeToo movement to the cultural climate within the UK. The British art world has always been “in constant revival and renewal,” McCrory says. “But I do worry about how we keep it a place for artists, and how we keep it a place for culture.”
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owner, Modern Art
Founded in 1998 by Stuart Shave, Modern Art is a contemporary art gallery in London representing over thirty artists. The gallery programmes ten to fourteen exhibitions per year of diverse media and scale.
The gallery represents established and highly influential artists such as Richard Tuttle, Peter Halley, Jacqueline Humphries, Eva Rothschild and Sanya Kantarovsky, as well as a younger generation including Yngve Holen, Torey Thornton, Anna-Bella Papp and Nicolas Deshayes. Modern Art’s programme has contributed to the reintroduction of seminal historical figures such as Lois Dodd, Martha Jungwirth and Forrest Bess. New artists represented by the gallery include Michael E. Smith, Richard Aldrich and Ron Gorchov.
Over the past twenty years the gallery has operated in various locations around London, beginning in the East End before moving to the West End in 2008. In 2014 Modern Art opened a converted pre-war industrial building on Helmet Row in Clerkenwell with a show by Eva Rothschild and in 2017 Modern Art opened a second gallery on Vyner Street with an exhibition by Josh Kline. In Spring 2020, a third gallery will open on Bury Street, in St James’s, Mayfair, with a show of work by Austrian painter Martha Jungwith.
director, Goldsmiths CCA
McCrory was director of Glasgow International from 2012 to 2017—where she “turned the biennial Scottish art festival into one of the must-see events on the British art calendar”, according to artnet—before becoming director of the Goldsmiths, University of London contemporary art gallery, which opened to the public in the spring of 2018. Prior to working on the Glasgow International Festival, she was a co-curator of Studio Voltaire in London; curator of the London project spaces Swallow Street and Arts & Jobs; curator of independent publishing fair Publish and Be Damned; and curator of Frieze Projects and Film. McCrory is a co-founder of Open School East, where she is a Trustee.
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
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