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Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh

Co-Executive Director & CEO


Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh are Co-Executive Director & CEO of Remai Modern.

Burns and Lundh joined Remai Modern in 2020. To make the most of an unprecedented time, they worked closely with staff and communities to align the future of the museum with the evolving needs of artists and the public.

After extensive consultation, Remai Modern launched a new strategic plan (2021-25). The plan focused on making the museum more accessible, reflective of place, well-governed, and committed to truth, reconciliation, and self-determination. Along with their team, Burns and Lundh stewarded the move to admission by donation at Remai Modern. Acknowledging that there were real and perceived barriers to visiting the museum, they secured a $10-million commitment from the museum’s lead patron Mrs. Ellen Remai to support admission by donation for 20 years. Just six months into the new entry model, attendance at Remai Modern grew by more than 70 per cent, and 2023 was the most visited year in the museum’s history.

Prior to joining Remai Modern, Burns and Lundh were the Co-Directors and Chief Curators of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth – Aotearoa New Zealand’s contemporary art museum and the permanent home of artist Len Lye. Burns and Lundh were also Co-Directors of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia’s oldest independent contemporary art space, and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, where they were curators for the 2013 Turner Prize.

Over the past decade, Burns and Lundh have curated and co-curated over 50 exhibitions and projects across North America, Europe, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. They have worked on major projects with artists including: Gordon Bennett, Ruth Buchanan, Céline Condorelli, D Harding, Karrabing Film Collective, P Staff, Amalia Pica, Slavs and Tatars, Hito Steyerl, and Haegue Yang. Their tenure at Remai Modern has included the museum’s first major collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario through the exhibition Ken Lum: Death and Furniture; the creation of an annual, all-ages festival, WEGO; and the co-curation of Christine Sun Kim: Oh Me Oh Myone of frieze magazine’s Top 10 Shows from Across the World in 2022.

Burns earned a Master of Arts in Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, New York City in 2010. Prior to that, she completed her B.A. in Art History and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto.  Lundh holds both a Bachelor and a Masters of Fine Arts from Konstfack –University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden.