Dr. Simon Maidment is Associate Director, Art Museums, in the Museums and Collections department at the University of Melbourne, and Director of three of its museums, the Ian Potter Museum, Buxton Contemporary and Old Quad, all situated in Melbourne.
Maidment completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, at the Centre for Ideas, VCA, in 2018. His research used curatorial practice as a method to investigate art’s relationship to social and political change.
He was previously Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, where he was responsible for a curatorial department working across Australian and International contemporary art in both gallery venues; creating exhibitions at the country’s best-attended public art museum, with an annual visitation of 3.2 million, and collecting as part one of the most active and ambitious acquisition programs of contemporary art in the region. Over the course of eight years, between 2013 and 2021, he oversaw more than doubling the size of the contemporary art collection at the NGV, and a substantial increase in contemporary art exhibitions, publications and audiences for the department’s activities. Curated NGV exhibitions included group shows such as the inaugural 2017 and 2020 iterations of the NGV Triennial, Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, Who’s Afraid of Colour, and Shut Up and Paint, and solo artist survey exhibitions of KAWS, David Hockney, Julian Opie, Gareth Sansom and David McDiarmid, and solo project shows by Shirin Neshat, Ryan Trecartin & Lizzie Fitch, Richard Mosse, Lee Mingwei and Carsten Höller. He edited five NGV monographs, including a forthcoming publication on Camille Henrot (due May 2021), and was co-editor of catalogues to accompany both editions of the NGV Triennial and Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, as a well as The Centre: On art and urbanism in China, the inaugural publication of the NGV’s critical imprint, an initiative he co-conceived and co-founded.
Simon was previously Founding Director of Satellite Art Projects, a non-profit arts organisation developing off-site, public and satellite programs, and supporting the activities of artists within a critical context, including curating and presenting a program of live art and performance in the public sphere of Mumbai, India, in January 2013, involving five Australian artists.
He has unique experience in developing and managing large contemporary arts events across multiple venues and public spaces, including the Visual Arts program of Melbourne International Arts Festival (2008, 2009 & 2010), and Project Manager of Rapt! 20 Contemporary Artists from Japan, an Australia-wide series of residencies, exhibitions, public programs and publications presented by the Japan Foundation, Tokyo, and Making Space: artist run initiatives in Victoria, a state-wide event which he co-developed with Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts.