Apr 26, 2018

Documenta announced a new director who will chart the quinquennial out of troubled financial waters.

Sabine Schormann will take up the leadership position from Wolfgang Orthmayr, who served as documenta’s interim director, when she moves to documenta’s home base of Kassel, Germany, this autumn. Schormann previously served as the manager of two significant arts trusts in northern Germany, which required her to managed a combined €5 million yearly budget. Such experience will come in handy, as Schormann will inherit the difficult legacy of documenta 14, curated by Adam Szymczyk, which ran a €7 million deficit that resulted in the removal of then-CEO Annette Kulenkampff. The widespread criticism of Szymczyk and his team strained relations with documenta’s artists, who uniformly defended the event’s curatorial vision in a series of open letters, and the exhibition’s top officials hope Schormann’s appointment can turn a page. “Now we have the opportunity to bring documenta up to date and strengthen it lastingly,” Christian Geselle, Kassel’s mayor and chairman of documenta’s supervisory board, said in a statement accompanying the announcement. Schormann faces the challenging task of rebuilding creative trust in the quinquennial and stewarding its finances ahead of the next edition, slated for 2022. Among her first tasks will be appointing the artistic director of documenta 15.