John Zeppetelli stepping down as director of Musée d'art contemporain

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John Zeppetelli is leaving the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), the museum announced Tuesday.

After serving more than a decade as the institution’s director and chief curator, Zeppetelli will step down in 2024, the MAC said on its website.

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Zeppetelli, who was hired in June, 2013, brought to the MAC “his voracious passion for art, his great love of artists and his remarkable audacity,” the museum said in a statement. “Thanks to him, the MAC presented out of the ordinary exhibitions including Teresa Margolles: Mundos, and Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything.”

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More recently, the MAC presented the exhibition Terror Contagion by the London research collective Forensic Architecture and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Currently showing are exhibitions Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia, and Jeremy Shaw: Phase Shifting Index.

Zeppetelli described the role he’s leaving as “a great privilege and an incredible learning experience.” Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette files

Zeppetelli oversaw the launch of a since-delayed renovation project for the museum announced in 2018. It has seen the MAC housed in a temporary locale in the basement of Place Ville-Marie since 2021, through at least 2027. Initially estimated at $57 million, the budget has increased to $116.5 million, according to reports. Work is set to begin in 2024.

In a statement on the MAC’s website, Zeppetelli said it is “with mixed emotions” that he is leaving his position “to explore new opportunities.” He described the job as “a great privilege and an incredible learning experience.”

Zeppetelli takes pride that during his tenure, he and his team “have been able to spark meaningful conversations that have not only shaped the cultural landscape of our beloved city, but have also resonated beyond its borders.”

Zeppetelli thanked the MAC’s board of directors, its staff, as well as the “brilliant artists and the dynamic community. … Together, we have cultivated a space that not only stimulates and delights, but also challenges and confronts — a space rooted in the complexities of the world.”

The MAC will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2024.

The museum declined a request for comment on Zeppetelli’s departure.

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