After a turbulent year, the trustees of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa) in Cape Town have appointed a new executive director and chief curator, Koyo Kouoh. She founded the RAW Material Company in Dakar in 2008, an initiative which “supports the work of African and international artists and curators in all contemporary art media”, says a museum statement. Kouoh was also the curator of the educational and artistic programme for the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair.
“Koyo is an outstanding leader and a passionate visionary… she will be invaluable to Zeitz Mocaa in writing a progressive vision for the museum,” say Jochen Zeitz and David Green, co-founders and co-chairmen of Zeitz Mocaa, in a statement. The holdings of Zeitz, the former chief executive of Puma, form the founding collection of the museum, which opened in September 2017. The Thomas Heatherwick-designed museum, housed in a waterfront grain silo complex, was hailed as a landmark institution for the study and acquisition of contemporary African art.
Mark Coetzee, the former executive director and chief curator of Zeitz Mocaa, was suspended on 16 May last year from his role at the museum following claims of misconduct. Coetzee subsequently resigned and took his employers to court; allegations of Coetzee’s misconduct are unconfirmed.
Azu Nwagbogu was subsequently appointed acting chief curator last May. “Nwagbogu will continue in this role until May, working alongside Kouoh during the transition and handover period, and will continue to work closely with the institution going forward,” the statement adds.