Statement: Director, Auto Italia

Edward Gillman has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as Director at Auto Italia. Edward has worked at the organisation for 11 years, five of these as Director, and two as Co-Director.

Under Edward’s leadership, Auto Italia has been driven into a new phase of its history: departing from its origin as a grassroots, artist-led project space, it has been transformed into a successful and resilient institution with an international track record for championing new, global discourses in contemporary art.

For seven years, Edward has led the organisation with a vision to expand the traditionally Anglo-American scope of queer visual cultures through its artistic programme. Under his leadership, Auto Italia has commissioned artists from diverse disciplines, geographies and subjectivities, engaging audiences with new discourses on the relationships between identity, sexuality and place.

He has significantly developed the scale and culture of Auto Italia through strategic leadership, building an innovative artistic team who have worked together to pioneer its renewed vision. This leadership has created an environment of diverse, critical thinking and fostered the organisation’s bold, distinctive voice on new institutional practice in the UK and internationally.

Since 2017, Auto Italia has commissioned 103 artists to present 26 exhibitions, often their first major projects within a gallery context. Commissioned artists include Adjoa Armah, Elysia Crampton Chuquimia and Joshua Chuquimia Crampton, CFGNY, Gran Fury, Sin Wai Kin, NTU (Nolan Oswald Dennis, Tabita Rezaire, Bogosi Sekhukhuni), Shaun Motsi, Christelle Oyiri, Bhenji Ra, Terre Thaemlitz, Natasha Tontey, Sands Murray-Wassink and others. Collaborations with guest curators include Radclyffe Hall, who presented Tessa Boffin, Ingrid Pollard and Jill Posner. These projects have brought critical acclaim to Auto Italia as an institution responsible for the early dissemination of radical ideas before they enter the mainstream.

Edward Gillman commented, ‘I have been immensely privileged to lead the organisation and its transformation over the past seven years. I am thankful to the immeasurable contributions of my colleagues and to the artists and partners with whom we have collaborated. The institution is in a strong financial and operational position and ready to face the challenges of the coming decade. I look forward to seeing its continued success’.

Eleanor Pinfield, Chair of Trustees commented, ‘The Trustees want to thank Edward for his commitment to the institution and highlight his exceptional work as Director. Auto Italia  has grown significantly during his leadership and is in a robust position to take forward a critically engaged programme that is at the forefront of debates on contemporary art.’

Edward will be departing the organisation in April 2024, and a recruitment process is underway for the new position.