BY frieze in News | 16 NOV 23

Sheena Wagstaff Announced in New Permanent Role at Frieze Masters 

The former Metropolitan Museum of Art and Tate Modern curator has been appointed as Creative Advisor for Frieze Masters, following her direction of the acclaimed Studio section at the 2023 edition 

BY frieze in News | 16 NOV 23

Frieze has announced that Sheena Wagstaff has been appointed Creative Advisor of Frieze Masters. Wagstaff – former Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Chief Curator of Tate Modern before that – curated the much-celebrated Studio section at Frieze Masters 2023, which saw career-spanning explorations of the workspaces and creative practices of artists Maggi Hambling, Mona Hatoum, Lucia Laguna, Arlene Shechet and Hyun-Sook Song.

As Creative Advisor, Wagstaff will shape the future curatorial framework for Frieze Masters, developing its avowed aim to bring new perspectives to the art of the past. 

Wagstaff will take up her position immediately and work closely with Kristell Chadé (Executive Director, Frieze Fairs) and Nathan Clements-Gillespie (Director, Frieze Masters) as well as the wider Frieze team.  

Chadé commented: ‘Following Sheena’s critically acclaimed contribution to Frieze Masters 2023, it only makes sense that her remit is extended more broadly, so that the whole fair can benefit from her expertise and knowledge. I look forward to her guiding Frieze Masters into the future.’

Sprüth Magers, Frieze Masters 2023 Photo by Michael Adair. Courtesy of Frieze and Michael Adair.
Hyun-Sook Song at Sprüth Magers, Frieze Masters 2023. Photo by Michael Adair. Courtesy of Frieze and Michael Adair

Clements-Gillespie added: ‘When we invited Sheena to develop a new section for Frieze Masters 2023, I was struck by her deep appreciation for the fair’s relationship with artists. Her understanding of the fair’s original aim, to apply the insights of living artists to art history, makes her the ideal person to work with on further influential projects and initiatives.’

Wagstaff has more 30 years of experience working in the arts, having previously held positions including the Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in which capacity she led and determined the programme of The Met Breuer. As Chief Curator of Tate Modern for 11 years, she was responsible for devising the exhibition programme and Turbine Hall commissions. She currently serves on the Professional Fine Arts Committee of the Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies, Washington DC; the International Advisory Committee of Istanbul Modern; and the Advisory Board of Delfina Foundation, London. 

Wagstaff said: ‘I am delighted to take up this new role of Creative Advisor. Frieze Masters offers extraordinary historical artefacts alongside contemporary art, in which the creative values of the past are embodied in new forms. I look forward to expanding, with the brilliant Frieze team, the fair’s mission to align ancient with modern: to convey the vitality and urgency of creative history, and how international artists translate this for our global future.’ 

Frieze Masters takes place concurrently with Frieze London each October in London’s Regent’s Park and brings together six millennia of art, from rare antiquities and old-master paintings to major modern works and underrepresented artists of the past century. The next edition takes place 9–13 October 2024.

Frieze Masters is supported by global lead partner Deutsche Bank, continuing a shared commitment to artistic excellence. 


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Main image: Eileen Travell, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Contemporary Art and Culture