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Tributes are being paid to the French curator Vincent Honoré who died earlier this week, as reported by our sister paper The Art Newspaper France. He was the director of exhibitions at the Mo.Co space in Montpellier, France, where he organised shows dedicated to artists such as Ana Mendieta and Huma Bhabha.

Nicolas Bourriaud, the former director of Mo.Co. called Honoré “one of the most brilliant curators of his generation” in an Instagram post. Francesca Gavin, the newly appointed artistic director of the Vienna Contemporary fair, posted on Instagram: “You were always an incredible beacon of enthusiasm and humour and intelligence.” Cédric Fauq, chief curator at Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, acknowledged the role Honoré played in his career, writing on Instagram: “A mentor and a friend, gone too soon.”

In September Honoré co-curated an exhibition dedicated to Mendieta at Mo.Co (Panacée), posting on Instagram that “it was a wonderful journey to dig into the innovative works of Ana Mendieta and present a nuanced portrait of the artist and her art—so influential, so radical, so free—as well as showing it to many friends, artists and colleagues.”

Honoré was a curator at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2001-04) and at Tate Modern in London (2004-07) where he co-curated an exhibition of works by Jeff Wall in 2005. “At that time, Tate Modern was the most magnificent museum I could dream of. Everything that was done there, from the collection displays, the programmes and the Turbine Hall etc, looked so innovative and game changing,” Honoré told the GPS Radar website.

Honoré studied for a Masters in Art Management of Art Institutions and a Masters in Comparative Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, he explains in the interview. I studied literature, especially Fyodor Dostoevsky and Georges Bataille. This gave me an artistic and theoretical background that I needed to complete with a more practical degree,” he said.

In 2008, he was appointed the founding director of the David Roberts Art Foundation (now The Roberts Institute of Art) in London where he organised exhibitions such as X a Fantasy (2017) and House of Leaves (2012). “I tried to find a different model and used the collection as library of forms and contents […] I fundamentally believe in the notion of public mission, be it sustained by public or private bodies,” Honoré said.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of Vincent Honoré’s untimely death,” says a statement by the Roberts Institute of Art, adding that “he was an enormously talented curator, writer and critical thinker whose radical programming and vision has had a profound impact on the art world.”

In a personal joint-statement, David and his wife Indrė Roberts, say, “We are so sad to have lost a dear colleague and friend in Vincent who has left us all too soon. We are grateful to have had the honour of working with him. He brought such dedication and generosity to artists and colleagues and his vision was unparalleled.”

Honoré joined the Hayward Gallery in London as senior curator in late 2017 and was also appointed director of the 13th Baltic Triennial which took place in 2018; he subsequently began working at Mo.Co in 2019. Another key achievement was Drawing Room Confessions, a series of books dedicated to one artist per issue (including Charles Avery and Miriam Cahn) which Honoré co-founded in 2011.

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