Jo Stella-Sawicka has been named by the Goodman Gallery as the director of their London gallery set to open this Autumn.
For nearly a decade, Stella-Sawicka has been a part of Frieze’s leadership team in London contributing to the growth of the fair in recent years. As artistic director for the fair, she oversaw the galleries partaking from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She was also a key player in the development and launch of Frieze Sculpture, which began in 2017 and has since inspired Frieze New York to incorporate the public sculpture component to their recent fair in April. While with Frieze, Stella-Sawicka helped curate critically acclaimed portions of ‘The 90s,’ ‘Sex Work,’ and ‘Social Work.’ Last year, she also launched Frieze Debate, a new portion of the arts fair that will be an ongoing collaboration with the BBC specifically broadcast during Frieze Week.
Stella-Sawicka’s ‘experience working with contemporary African and Diasporic artists, combined with her reputation as a master-collaborator, bringing people together across the art world to make major projects possible, makes her a natural fit for Goodman Gallery and a great leader for the London team,’ said Liza Essers, owner and director of Goodman Gallery, in a press release. ‘While being firmly rooted in London, Jo brings vast knowledge and experience of the international art scene and shares the gallery’s vision in addressing broader social issues facing society, as evidenced in the initiatives she has championed in recent years, bringing attention to globally overlooked artists and particularly to women.’
At the London location of the Goodman Gallery, Stella-Sawicka will be responsible for a roster of artists from around the world representing the African diaspora. She’s called her selection as director an ‘honour’ and stated: ‘Working with the team and with Liza Essers in particular at Frieze fairs, I have long admired the gallery programme which deftly combines some of the most significant global positions alongside breaking new talent appearing from the African continent. Goodman will contribute a vital new voice to the London gallery scene and make an impact on the global conversation.’
The gallery’s new location at 26 Cork Street will join Goodman Gallery’s Cape Town and Johannesburg spaces. Founded in 1966 during the apartheid, Goodman Gallery has been a champion of African artists and international artists representing the African diaspora. Essers has been owner and director for Goodman Gallery for more than a decade now. The gallery’s expansion was announced in early June.
‘It is time for a gallery from the African continent,’ said Essers when announcing the gallery’s expansion to London, ‘to play more of a front-line role in shaping international arts discourse.’