Naomi Milgrom AO appointed Commissioner for Australia, Venice Biennale 2017

    03 September 2015

    Mr Rupert Myer AO, Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts, today announced the appointment of Ms Naomi Milgrom AO as Commissioner for the Australian representation at the 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2017.

    Ms Milgrom is an exceptional business leader and entrepreneur with a distinguished record of leadership and philanthropy in the arts, sciences and education. She is the owner of the Sportsgirl/Sussan Group of Companies. 

    A committed and passionate supporter of the arts, Ms Milgrom recently established the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to initiate bold public art, design and architecture projects including MPavilion, a new temporary cultural space. Ms Milgrom has shepherded landmark initiatives in the cultural arena and shaped alliances between local and global partners. In addition, Ms Milgrom is a member of the International Council for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Basel Global Patrons Council and former Chair of The Katherine Hannay Visual Arts Commission for ANZ Trustees. She was the Chair of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art from 2005 – 2011 and is a former Trustee of both the National Gallery of Victoria and The Jewish Museum of Australia. Currently, she is on the advisory council of the Centre for Ethical Leadership and a board member of the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

    “The Australia Council is really delighted that Naomi has accepted the appointment as Commissioner. She will bring to the role her great enthusiasm for and knowledge of contemporary art as well as a thoughtful and effective approach to engaging partners and supporters,” said Mr Myer. “The Australia Council has managed Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale for more than 30 years and Australia’s presence at this event significantly enhances our international reputation. The appointment of a well-respected leader in the arts has been key to the success of each Australian exhibition.”

    “I’m honoured to be invited to work with the Australia Council to deliver the Australian representation in 2017,” said Ms Milgrom. “The Venice Biennale is the most important event on the international contemporary art calendar and something that continually inspires me. Australia’s participation places our artists in the centre of the global contemporary art scene. I look forward to building on the success of this milestone year.”

     Mr Tony Grybowski, Australia Council Chief Executive said “We look forward to working closely with Naomi over the coming months on the selection of the 2017 artist for Venice as well as securing private support for this flagship public-private partnership. The role of Commissioner is vital to the advocacy and fundraising programs around our participation in each Biennale.”

    Naomi Milgrom AO will take over from Simon Mordant AM as Commissioner following the 2015 Venice Biennale. During his time as Commissioner, Mr Mordant led a highly successful campaign to fund the new Australian Pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall in Venice and the pavilion’s inaugural exhibition by Fiona Hall AO.

    Australia’s presence at the Venice Biennale in 2015 was truly remarkable. In addition to the opening of a new national pavilion and Fiona Hall’s highly successful exhibition Wrong Way Time, a record number of Australian artists were invited to exhibit. This resulted in more than 60 Australian artists exhibiting their work to international audiences, attracting an unprecedented level of attention from the international arts community and global arts media.

    The Venice Biennale is the oldest and largest established biennale in the world. Australia’s long history of representation at the Venice Biennale began in 1954. 

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